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Cell. 2010 Oct 1;143(1):99-110. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.09.003.

Cell surface- and rho GTPase-based auxin signaling controls cellular interdigitation in Arabidopsis.

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Center for Plant Cell Biology, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.


Auxin is a multifunctional hormone essential for plant development and pattern formation. A nuclear auxin-signaling system controlling auxin-induced gene expression is well established, but cytoplasmic auxin signaling, as in its coordination of cell polarization, is unexplored. We found a cytoplasmic auxin-signaling mechanism that modulates the interdigitated growth of Arabidopsis leaf epidermal pavement cells (PCs), which develop interdigitated lobes and indentations to form a puzzle-piece shape in a two-dimensional plane. PC interdigitation is compromised in leaves deficient in either auxin biosynthesis or its export mediated by PINFORMED 1 localized at the lobe tip. Auxin coordinately activates two Rho GTPases, ROP2 and ROP6, which promote the formation of complementary lobes and indentations, respectively. Activation of these ROPs by auxin occurs within 30 s and depends on AUXIN-BINDING PROTEIN 1. These findings reveal Rho GTPase-based auxin-signaling mechanisms, which modulate the spatial coordination of cell expansion across a field of cells.

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