OsAUX1 controls lateral root initiation in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

Heming Zhao, Tengfei Ma, Xin Wang, Yingtian Deng, Haoli Ma, Rongsheng Zhang, Jie Zhao
Plant, Cell & Environment 2015, 38 (11): 2208-22
Polar auxin transport, mediated by influx and efflux transporters, controls many aspects of plant growth and development. The auxin influx carriers in Arabidopsis have been shown to control lateral root development and gravitropism, but little is known about these proteins in rice. This paper reports on the functional characterization of OsAUX1. Three OsAUX1 T-DNA insertion mutants and RNAi knockdown transgenic plants reduced lateral root initiation compared with wild-type (WT) plants. OsAUX1 overexpression plants exhibited increased lateral root initiation and OsAUX1 was highly expressed in lateral roots and lateral root primordia. Similarly, the auxin reporter, DR5-GUS, was expressed at lower levels in osaux1 than in the WT plants, which indicated that the auxin levels in the mutant roots had decreased. Exogenous 1-naphthylacetic acid (NAA) treatment rescued the defective phenotype in osaux1-1 plants, whereas indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and 2,4-D could not, which suggested that OsAUX1 was a putative auxin influx carrier. The transcript levels of several auxin signalling genes and cell cycle genes significantly declined in osaux1, hinting that the regulatory role of OsAUX1 may be mediated by auxin signalling and cell cycle genes. Overall, our results indicated that OsAUX1 was involved in polar auxin transport and functioned to control auxin-mediated lateral root initiation in rice.

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