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Plant Physiol. 2005 Jun;138(2):767-77. Epub 2005 May 13.

Arabidopsis thickvein mutation affects vein thickness and organ vascularization, and resides in a provascular cell-specific spermine synthase involved in vein definition and in polar auxin transport.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8104, USA.


Polar auxin transport has been implicated in the induction of vascular tissue and in the definition of vein positions. Leaves treated with chemical inhibitors of polar auxin transport exhibited vascular phenotypes that include increased vein thickness and vascularization. We describe a recessive mutant, thickvein (tkv), which develops thicker veins in leaves and in inflorescence stems. The increased vein thickness is attributable to an increased number of vascular cells. Mutant plants have smaller leaves and shorter inflorescence stems, and this reduction in organ size and height is accompanied by an increase in organ vascularization, which appears to be attributable to an increase in the recruitment of cells into veins. Furthermore, although floral development is normal, auxin transport in the inflorescence stem is significantly reduced in the mutant, suggesting that the defect in auxin transport is responsible for the vascular phenotypes. In the primary root, the veins appear morphologically normal, but root growth in the tkv mutant is hypersensitive to exogenous cytokinin. The tkv mutation was found to reside in the ACL5 gene, which encodes a spermine synthase and whose expression is specific to provascular cells. We propose that ACL5/TKV is involved in vein definition (defining the boundaries between veins and nonvein regions) and in polar auxin transport, and that polyamines are involved in this process.

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