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Plant Cell. 2009 Dec;21(12):3823-38. doi: 10.1105/tpc.109.069906. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

Auxin response in Arabidopsis under cold stress: underlying molecular mechanisms.

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Cryobiofrontier Research Center, Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Morioka, Iwate, 020-8550, Japan.


To understand the mechanistic basis of cold temperature stress and the role of the auxin response, we characterized root growth and gravity response of Arabidopsis thaliana after cold stress, finding that 8 to 12 h at 4 degrees C inhibited root growth and gravity response by approximately 50%. The auxin-signaling mutants axr1 and tir1, which show a reduced gravity response, responded to cold treatment like the wild type, suggesting that cold stress affects auxin transport rather than auxin signaling. Consistently, expression analyses of an auxin-responsive marker, IAA2-GUS, and a direct transport assay confirmed that cold inhibits root basipetal (shootward) auxin transport. Microscopy of living cells revealed that trafficking of the auxin efflux carrier PIN2, which acts in basipetal auxin transport, was dramatically reduced by cold. The lateral relocalization of PIN3, which has been suggested to mediate the early phase of root gravity response, was also inhibited by cold stress. Additionally, cold differentially affected various protein trafficking pathways. Furthermore, the inhibition of protein trafficking by cold is independent of cellular actin organization and membrane fluidity. Taken together, these results suggest that the effect of cold stress on auxin is linked to the inhibition of intracellular trafficking of auxin efflux carriers.

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