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Plant Sci. 2012 Jul;190:74-81. doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2012.03.008. Epub 2012 Apr 1.

The ethylene pathway contributes to root hair elongation induced by the beneficial bacteria Phyllobacterium brassicacearum STM196.

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Laboratory of Tropical Symbiosis (UMR113), Université Montpellier 2, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Cirad, Montpellier SupAgro, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Université de Montpellier, CC002, Place E. Bataillon, F34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


In Arabidopsis roots, some epidermal cells differentiate into root hair cells. Auxin regulates root hair positioning, while ethylene controls cell elongation. Phyllobacterium brassicacearum STM196, a beneficial strain of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) isolated from the roots of field-grown oilseed rape, stimulates root hair elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings. We investigated the role of ethylene in the response of root hair cells to STM196 inoculation. While we could not detect a significant increase in ethylene biosynthesis, we could detect a slight activation of the ethylene signalling pathway. Consistent with this, an exhaustive survey of the root hair elongation response of mutants and transgenic lines affected in the ethylene pathway showed contrasting root hair sensitivities to STM196. We propose that local ethylene emission contributes to STM196-induceed root hair elongation.

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