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Planta. 2005 Apr;221(1):39-47. Epub 2004 Nov 20.

Cytokinin-induced hypocotyl elongation in light-grown Arabidopsis plants with inhibited ethylene action or indole-3-acetic acid transport.

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Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610, Antwerp, Belgium.


Cytokinins inhibit hypocotyl elongation in darkness but have no obvious effect on hypocotyl length in the light. However, we found that cytokinins do promote hypocotyl elongation in the light when ethylene action is blocked. A 50% increase in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. hypocotyl length was observed in response to N6-benzyladenine (BA) treatment in the presence of Ag+. The level of the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid was strongly increased, indicating that ethylene biosynthesis was up-regulated by treatment with cytokinin. Furthermore, the effects of cytokinins on hypocotyl elongation were also tested using a series of mutants in the cascade of the ethylene-signal pathway. In the ethylene-insensitive mutants etr1-3 and ein2-1, cytokinin treatment resulted in hypocotyl lengths comparable to those of wild-type seedlings treated with both Ag+ and BA. A similar phenotypical response to cytokinin was observed when auxin transport was blocked by alpha-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA). Applied cytokinin largely restored cell elongation in the basal and middle parts of the hypocotyls of NPA-treated seedlings and at the same time abolished the NPA-induced decrease in indole-3-acetic acid levels. Our data support the hypothesis that, in the light, cytokinins interact with the ethylene-signalling pathway and conditionally up-regulate ethylene and auxin synthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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