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Plant Physiol. 2003 Aug;132(4):1998-2011.

Expression profiling of cytokinin action in Arabidopsis.

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University of North Carolina, Biology Department, CB Number 3280, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3280, USA.


The phytohormone cytokinin is an important regulator of plant growth and development; however, relatively few genes that mediate cytokinin responses have been identified. Genome-wide analyses of Arabidopsis seedlings using the approximately 8,300-element Affymetrix Arabidopsis GeneChips (Affymetrix, Santa Clara, CA) to examine cytokinin-responsive genes were conducted, revealing at least 30 genes whose steady-state level of mRNA was elevated and at least 40 that were down-regulated at multiple time points after application of cytokinin. The cytokinin up-regulated genes include the type-A Arabidopsis response regulators (ARRs), which had been shown previously to be cytokinin primary response genes, cytokinin oxidase, which encodes an enzyme that degrades cytokinins, and several transcription factors. Cytokinin down-regulated genes include several peroxidases and kinases and an E3 ubiquitin ligase. We identified a common sequence motif enriched in the upstream regions of the most consistently cytokinin up-regulated genes. This motif is highly similar to the optimal DNA-binding sites for ARR1/ARR2, type-B ARRs that have been implicated in the transcriptional elevation of the type-A ARRs. Additionally, genome-wide analyses of cytokinin receptor mutants (wol/cre1) revealed large-scale changes in gene expression, including down-regulation of the type-A ARRs and several meristem and cell cycle genes, such as CycD3. Mutations in CRE1 reduced but did not eliminate the effect of cytokinin on gene expression for a subset of cytokinin-responsive genes and had little or no effect on others, suggesting functional redundancy among the cytokinin receptors.

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