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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Apr 6;101(14):5146-51. Epub 2004 Mar 29.

Transcript profiling of early lateral root initiation.

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Department of Plant Systems Biology, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, Ghent University, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium.


At the onset of lateral root initiation in Arabidopsis thaliana, the phytohormone auxin activates xylem pole pericycle cells for asymmetric cell division. However, the molecular events leading from auxin to lateral root initiation are poorly understood, in part because the few responsive cells in the process are embedded in the root and are thus difficult to access. A lateral root induction system, in which most xylem pole pericycle cells were synchronously activated by auxin transport inhibition followed by auxin application, was used for microarray transcript profiling. Of 4,600 genes analyzed, 906 significantly differentially regulated genes were identified that could be grouped into six major clusters. Basically, three major patterns were discerned representing induced, repressed, and transiently expressed genes. Analysis of the coregulated genes, which were specific for each time point, provided new insight into the molecular regulation and signal transduction preceding lateral root initiation in Arabidopsis. The reproducible expression profiles during a time course allowed us to define four stages that precede the cell division in the pericycle. These early stages were characterized by G1 cell cycle block, auxin perception, and signal transduction, followed by progression over G1/S transition and G2/M transition. All these processes took place within 6 h after transfer from N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid to 1-naphthalene acetic acid. These results indicate that this lateral root induction system represents a unique synchronized system that allows the systematic study of the developmental program upstream of the cell cycle activation during lateral root initiation.

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