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Plant Physiol. 2003 Mar;131(3):1091-103.

The Medicago species A2-type cyclin is auxin regulated and involved in meristem formation but dispensable for endoreduplication-associated developmental programs.

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  • 1Institut des Sciences du Végétale, Centre National de la Recherche Scientiique Unité Propre de Recherche, Gi-sur-Yvette, France.


Phytohormones as well as temporal and spatial regulation of the cell cycle play a key role in plant development. Here, we investigated the function and regulation of an alfalfa (Medicago sativa) A2-type cyclin in three distinct root developmental programs: in primary and secondary root development, nodule development, and nematode-elicited gall formation. Using transgenic plants carrying the Medsa;cycA2;2 promoter-beta-glucuronidase gene fusion, in combination with other techniques, cycA2;2 expression was localized in meristems and proliferating cells in the lateral root and nodule primordia. Rapid induction of cycA2;2 by Nod factors demonstrated that this gene is implicated in cell cycle activation of differentiated cells developing to nodule primordia. Surprisingly, cycA2;2 was repressed in the endoreduplicating, division-arrested cells both during nodule development and formation of giant cells in nematode-induced galls, indicating that CycA2;2 was dispensable for S-phase in endoreduplication cycles. Overexpression of cycA2;2 in transgenic plants corresponded to wild type protein levels and had no apparent phenotype. In contrast, antisense expression of cycA2;2 halted regeneration of somatic embryos, suggesting a role for CycA2;2 in the formation or activity of apical meristems. Expression of cycA2;2 was up-regulated by auxins, as expected from the presence of auxin response elements in the promoter. Moreover, auxin also affected the spatial expression pattern of this cyclin by shifting the cycA2;2 expression from the phloem to the xylem poles.

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