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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 27;8(11):e82596. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082596. eCollection 2013.

Characterization of a small auxin-up RNA (SAUR)-like gene involved in Arabidopsis thaliana development.

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Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium.


The root of Arabidopsis thaliana is used as a model system to unravel the molecular nature of cell elongation and its arrest. From a micro-array performed on roots that were treated with aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), the precursor of ethylene, a Small auxin-up RNA (SAUR)-like gene was found to be up regulated. As it appeared as the 76th gene in the family, it was named SAUR76. Root and leaf growth of overexpression lines ectopically expressing SAUR76 indicated the possible involvement of the gene in the division process. Using promoter::GUS and GFP lines strong expression was seen in endodermal and pericycle cells at the end of the elongation zone and during several stages of lateral root primordia development. ACC and IAA/NAA were able to induce a strong up regulation of the gene and changed the expression towards cortical and even epidermal cells at the beginning of the elongation zone. Confirmation of this up regulation of expression was delivered using qPCR, which also indicated that the expression quickly returned to normal levels when the inducing IAA-stimulus was removed, a behaviour also seen in other SAUR genes. Furthermore, confocal analysis of protein-GFP fusions localized the protein in the nucleus, cytoplasm and plasma membrane. SAUR76 expression was quantified in several mutants in ethylene and auxin-related pathways, which led to the conclusion that the expression of SAUR76 is mainly regulated by the increase in auxin that results from the addition of ACC, rather than by ACC itself.

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