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Development. 2007 Jun;134(11):2073-81.

Integration of cytokinin and gibberellin signalling by Arabidopsis transcription factors GIS, ZFP8 and GIS2 in the regulation of epidermal cell fate.

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  • 1CNAP, Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK.

Abstract

The effective integration of hormone signals is essential to normal plant growth and development. Gibberellins (GA) and cytokinins act antagonistically in leaf formation and meristem maintenance and GA counteract some of the effects of cytokinins on epidermal differentiation. However, both can stimulate the initiation of defensive epidermal structures called trichomes. To understand how their relative influence on epidermal cell fate is modulated, we investigated the molecular mechanisms through which they regulate trichome initiation in Arabidopsis. The control by cytokinins of trichome production requires two genes expressed in late inflorescence organs, ZFP8 and GIS2, which encode C2H2 transcription factors related to GLABROUS INFLORESCENCE STEMS (GIS). Cytokinin-inducible GIS2 plays a prominent role in the cytokinin response, in which it acts downstream of SPINDLY and upstream of GLABROUS1. In addition, GIS2 and ZFP8 mediate, like GIS, the regulation of trichome initiation by gibberellins. By contrast, GIS does not play a significant role in the cytokinin response. Collectively, GIS, ZFP8 and GIS2, which encode proteins that are largely equivalent in function, play partially redundant and essential roles in inflorescence trichome initiation and in its regulation by GA and cytokinins. These roles are consistent with their pattern of expression and with the regional influence of GA and cytokinins on epidermal differentiation. Our findings show that functional specialization within a transcription factor gene family can facilitate the integration of different developmental cues in the regulation of plant cell differentiation.

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