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Plant Cell. 2012 Mar;24(3):1081-95. doi: 10.1105/tpc.111.092254. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Regulation of root greening by light and auxin/cytokinin signaling in Arabidopsis.

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Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan.


Tight coordination between plastid differentiation and plant development is best evidenced by the synchronized development of photosynthetic tissues and the biogenesis of chloroplasts. Here, we show that Arabidopsis thaliana roots demonstrate accelerated chlorophyll accumulation and chloroplast development when they are detached from shoots. However, this phenomenon is repressed by auxin treatment. Mutant analyses suggest that auxin transported from the shoot represses root greening via the function of indole-3-acetic acid14, auxin response factor7 (ARF7), and ARF19. Cytokinin signaling, on the contrary, is required for chlorophyll biosynthesis in roots. The regulation by auxin/cytokinin is dependent on the transcription factor long hypocotyl5 (HY5), which is required for the expression of key chlorophyll biosynthesis genes in roots. The expression of yet another root greening transcription factor, golden2-like2 (GLK2), was found to be regulated in opposing directions by auxin and cytokinin. Furthermore, both the hormone signaling and the GLK transcription factors modified the accumulation of HY5 in roots. Overexpression of GLKs in the hy5 mutant provided evidence that GLKs require HY5 to maximize their activities in root greening. We conclude that the combination of HY5 and GLKs, functioning downstream of light and auxin/cytokinin signaling pathways, is responsible for coordinated expression of the key genes in chloroplast biogenesis.

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