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LBD13 positively regulates lateral root formation in Arabidopsis

Cho, Chuloh, Jeon, Eunkyeong, Pandey, Shashank K., Ha, Se Hoon, Kim, Jungmook
Planta 2019 v.249 no.4 pp. 1251-1258
Arabidopsis, RNA interference, beta-glucuronidase, gene overexpression, genes, meristems, protoplasts, root systems, roots, staining, transactivators, transgenic plants
MAIN CONCLUSION: Lateral Organ Boundaries Domain 13 (LBD13), which is expressed in emerged lateral roots and encodes a transcriptional activator, plays an important role in lateral root formation in Arabidopsis. Lateral roots (LRs) are major determinants of root system architecture, contributing to the survival strategies of plants. Members of the LBD gene family encode plant-specific transcription factors that play key roles in plant organ development. Several LBD genes, such as LBD14, 16, 18, 29, and 33, have been shown to play important roles in regulating LR development in Arabidopsis. In the present study, we show that LBD13 is expressed in emerged LRs and LR meristems of elongated LRs and regulates LR formation in Arabidopsis. Transient gene expression assays with Arabidopsis protoplasts showed that LBD13 is localized to the nucleus and harbors transcription-activating potential. Knock-down of LBD13 expression by RNA interference resulted in reduced LR formation, whereas overexpression of LBD13 enhanced LR formation in transgenic Arabidopsis. Analysis of β-glucuronidase (GUS) expression under the control of the LBD13 promoter showed that GUS staining was detected in LRs emerged from the primary root, but not in LR primordia. Moreover, both the distribution of LR primordium number and developmental kinetics of LR primordia were not affected either by knock-down or by overexpression of LBD13. Taken together, these results suggest that LBD13 is a nuclear-localized transcriptional activator and controls LR formation during or after LR emergence.