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New Phytol. 2008;179(3):751-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02514.x. Epub 2008 Jun 28.

SPOROCYTELESS modulates YUCCA expression to regulate the development of lateral organs in Arabidopsis.

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National Laboratory for Protein Engineering and Plant Genetic Engineering, Peking-Yale Joint Research Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and AgroBiotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.


* Auxin is essential for many aspects of plant growth and development, including the determination of lateral organ shapes. * Here, the characterization of a dominant Arabidopsis thaliana mutant spl-D (SPOROCYTELESS dominant), and the roles of SPL in auxin homeostasis and plant development, are reported. * The spl-D mutant displayed a severe up-curling leaf phenotype caused by increased expression of SPOROCYTELESS/NOZZLE (SPL/NZZ), a putative transcription factor gene that was previously linked to sporocyte formation. The spl-D plants also displayed pleiotropic developmental defects including fewer lateral roots, simpler venation patterns, and reduced shoot apical dominance. The leaf and floral phenotypes of spl-D and SPL over-expression lines were reminiscent of yucca (yuc) triple and quadruple mutants, suggesting that SPL may regulate auxin homeostasis. Consistent with this hypothesis, it was found that over-expression of SPL led to down-regulation of the auxin reporter DR5-GUS, and that many auxin-responsive genes were down-regulated in spl-D leaves. Interestingly, the expression of YUC2 and YUC6, two key genes in auxin biosynthesis, was significantly repressed in spl-D plants. * Taken together with the genetic and phenotypic analysis of spl-D/yuc6-D double mutant, these data suggest that SPL may regulate auxin homeostasis by repressing the transcription of YUC2 and YUC6 and participate in lateral organ morphogenesis.

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