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Plant Cell. 2013 Jun;25(6):2132-54. doi: 10.1105/tpc.113.112896. Epub 2013 Jun 28.

A spatio-temporal understanding of growth regulation during the salt stress response in Arabidopsis.

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Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Plant Biology, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


Plant environmental responses involve dynamic changes in growth and signaling, yet little is understood as to how progress through these events is regulated. Here, we explored the phenotypic and transcriptional events involved in the acclimation of the Arabidopsis thaliana seedling root to a rapid change in salinity. Using live-imaging analysis, we show that growth is dynamically regulated with a period of quiescence followed by recovery then homeostasis. Through the use of a new high-resolution spatio-temporal transcriptional map, we identify the key hormone signaling pathways that regulate specific transcriptional programs, predict their spatial domain of action, and link the activity of these pathways to the regulation of specific phases of growth. We use tissue-specific approaches to suppress the abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway and demonstrate that ABA likely acts in select tissue layers to regulate spatially localized transcriptional programs and promote growth recovery. Finally, we show that salt also regulates many tissue-specific and time point-specific transcriptional responses that are expected to modify water transport, Casparian strip formation, and protein translation. Together, our data reveal a sophisticated assortment of regulatory programs acting together to coordinate spatially patterned biological changes involved in the immediate and long-term response to a stressful shift in environment.

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