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Planta. 2010 Jan;231(2):491-7. doi: 10.1007/s00425-009-1052-x. Epub 2009 Nov 14.

Involvement of Arabidopsis thaliana phospholipase Dzeta2 in root hydrotropism through the suppression of root gravitropism.

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Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan.


Root hydrotropism is the phenomenon of directional root growth toward moisture under water-deficient conditions. Although physiological and genetic studies have revealed the involvement of the root cap in the sensing of moisture gradients, and those of auxin and abscisic acid (ABA) in the signal transduction for asymmetric root elongation, the overall mechanism of root hydrotropism is still unclear. We found that the promoter activity of the Arabidopsis phospholipase Dzeta2 gene (PLDzeta2) was localized to epidermal cells in the distal root elongation zone and lateral root cap cells adjacent to them, and that exogenous ABA enhanced the activity and extended its area to the entire root cap. Although pldzeta2 mutant root caps did not exhibit a morphological phenotype in either the absence or presence of exogenous ABA, the inhibitory effect of ABA on gravitropism, which was significant in wild-type roots, was not observed in pldzeta2 mutant roots. In root hydrotropism experiments, pldzeta2 mutations significantly retarded or disturbed root hydrotropic responses. A drought condition similar to that used in a hydrotropism experiment enhanced the PLDzeta2 promoter activity in the root cap, as did exogenous ABA. These results suggest that PLDzeta2 responds to drought through ABA signaling in the root cap and accelerates root hydrotropism through the suppression of root gravitropism.

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