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Plant Physiol. 2003 Mar;131(3):1327-39.

Auxin signaling in Arabidopsis leaf vascular development.

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Department of Botany, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Canada M5S 3B2.


A number of observations have implicated auxin in the formation of vascular tissues in plant organs. These include vascular strand formation in response to local auxin application, the effects of impaired auxin transport on vascular patterns and suggestive phenotypes of Arabidopsis auxin response mutants. In this study, we have used molecular markers to visualize auxin response patterns in developing Arabidopsis leaves as well as Arabidopsis mutants and transgenic plants to trace pathways of auxin signal transduction controlling the expression of early procambial genes. We show that in young Arabidopsis leaf primordia, molecular auxin response patterns presage sites of procambial differentiation. This is the case not only in normal development but also upon experimental manipulation of auxin transport suggesting that local auxin signals are instrumental in patterning Arabidopsis leaf vasculature. We further found that the activity of the Arabidopsis gene MONOPTEROS, which is required for proper vascular differentiation, is also essential in a spectrum of auxin responses, which include the regulation of rapidly auxin-inducible AUX/IAA genes, and discovered the tissue-specific vascular expression profile of the class I homeodomain-leucine zipper gene, AtHB20. Interestingly, MONOPTEROS activity is a limiting factor in the expression of AtHB8 and AtHB20, two genes encoding transcriptional regulators expressed early in procambial development. Our observations connect general auxin signaling with early controls of vascular differentiation and suggest molecular mechanisms for auxin signaling in patterned cell differentiation.

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