Auxin homeostasis during lateral root development under drought condition

Pil Joon Seo, Chung-Mo Park
Plant Signaling & Behavior 2009, 4 (10): 1002-4
Lateral root formation is a critical agronomic trait in plant architecture that determines crop productivity and environmental stress adaptability. It is therefore tightly regulated both by intrinsic developmental cues, such as abscisic acid (ABA) and auxin, and by diverse environmental growth conditions, including water deficit and high salinity in the soil. We have recently reported that an Arabidopsis R2R3-type MYB transcription factor, MYB96, regulates lateral root meristem activation under drought conditions via an ABA-auxin signaling crosstalk. In this signaling scheme, the MYB96-mediated ABA signals are incorporated into an auxin signaling pathway that involves a subset of GH3 gene encoding auxin-conjugating enzymes. The MYB96-overexpressing, activation tagging mutant, which is featured by having dwarfed growth and reduced lateral root formation, exhibits an enhanced drought resistance. In the mutant, expression of the GH3 genes was significantly elevated, which is consistent with the reduced lateral root formation. In contrast, the MYB96-deficient knockout mutant produced more lateral roots and was more susceptible to drought stress. Our observations strongly support that MYB96 is a molecular link that integrates ABA and auxin signals in modulating auxin homeostasis during lateral root development, particularly under water deficit conditions. It is also envisioned that the MYB96-mediated signals are related with pathogen resistance response, which is also profoundly affected by water content in plant cells.

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