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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Mar 20;109(12):4668-73. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201498109. Epub 2012 Mar 5.

Root gravitropism is regulated by a transient lateral auxin gradient controlled by a tipping-point mechanism.

Author information

1
Centre for Plant Integrative Biology, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington LE12 5RD, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Gravity profoundly influences plant growth and development. Plants respond to changes in orientation by using gravitropic responses to modify their growth. Cholodny and Went hypothesized over 80 years ago that plants bend in response to a gravity stimulus by generating a lateral gradient of a growth regulator at an organ's apex, later found to be auxin. Auxin regulates root growth by targeting Aux/IAA repressor proteins for degradation. We used an Aux/IAA-based reporter, domain II (DII)-VENUS, in conjunction with a mathematical model to quantify auxin redistribution following a gravity stimulus. Our multidisciplinary approach revealed that auxin is rapidly redistributed to the lower side of the root within minutes of a 90° gravity stimulus. Unexpectedly, auxin asymmetry was rapidly lost as bending root tips reached an angle of 40° to the horizontal. We hypothesize roots use a "tipping point" mechanism that operates to reverse the asymmetric auxin flow at the midpoint of root bending. These mechanistic insights illustrate the scientific value of developing quantitative reporters such as DII-VENUS in conjunction with parameterized mathematical models to provide high-resolution kinetics of hormone redistribution.

PMID:
22393022
PMCID:
PMC3311388
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1201498109
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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