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Planta. 2004 Jan;218(3):435-48. Epub 2003 Aug 27.

Roles for auxin during morphogenesis of the compound leaves of pea ( Pisum sativum).

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Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.


The goal of this study was to explore the impact of the plant growth regulator auxin on the development of compound leaves in pea. Wildtype ( WT) plantlets, as well as those of two leaf mutants, acacia ( tl) and tendrilled acacia ( uni-tac) of pea ( Pisum sativum L.), were grown on media containing the auxin-transport inhibitors 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA), N-(1-naphthyl)phthalamic acid (NPA), or the auxin antagonist, p-chlorophenoxyisobutyric acid (PCIB). The resulting plantlets were carefully analyzed morphologically, by scanning electron microscopy and for Uni gene expression using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Auxin transport was measured in WT leaf parts using [(14)C]indole-3-acetic acid. Relative Uni gene expression was determined in shoot tips of a range of leaf-form mutants. Morphological abnormalities were observed for all genotypes examined. The terminal tendrils on WT plants were converted to leaflets, stubs or were aborted. The number of pinna pairs produced on leaves was reduced, with the distal forms being eliminated before the proximal ones. Some leaves were converted to simple, including tri-and bilobed, forms. These treatments phenocopy the uni-tac and unifoliata ( uni) mutants of pea. In the most extreme situations, leaf blades were completely lost leaving only a pair of stipules or scale leaves. Polar auxin transport was basipetal for all leaf parts. Uni gene expression in shoot tips was significantly reduced in 60 microM NPA and TIBA. Uni mRNA was more abundant in tl, af and af tl and reduced in the uni mutants compared to WT. These results indicate that an auxin gradient plays fundamental roles in controlling morphogenesis in the compound leaves of pea and specifically it: (i). is the driving force for leaf growth and pinna determination; (ii). is necessary for pinna initiation; and (iii). controls subsequent pinna development.

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