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Genes Cells. 2016 Nov;21(11):1195-1208. doi: 10.1111/gtc.12436. Epub 2016 Sep 23.

DNA damage inhibits lateral root formation by up-regulating cytokinin biosynthesis genes in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Takayama 8916-5, Ikoma, Nara, 630-0192, Japan.
JST, CREST, Takayama 8916-5, Ikoma, Nara, 630-0192, Japan.


Lateral roots (LRs) are an important organ for water and nutrient uptake from soil. Thus, control of LR formation is crucial in the adaptation of plant growth to environmental conditions. However, the underlying mechanism controlling LR formation in response to external factors has remained largely unknown. Here, we found that LR formation was inhibited by DNA damage. Treatment with zeocin, which causes DNA double-strand breaks, up-regulated several DNA repair genes in the LR primordium (LRP) through the signaling pathway mediated by the transcription factor SUPPRESSOR OF GAMMA RESPONSE 1 (SOG1). Cell division was severely inhibited in the LRP of zeocin-treated sog1-1 mutant, which in turn inhibited LR formation. This result suggests that SOG1-mediated maintenance of genome integrity is crucial for proper cell division during LRP development. Furthermore, zeocin induced several cytokinin biosynthesis genes in a SOG1-dependent manner, thereby activating cytokinin signaling in the LRP. LR formation was less inhibited by zeocin in mutants defective in cytokinin biosynthesis or signaling, suggesting that elevated cytokinin signaling is crucial for the inhibition of LR formation in response to DNA damage. We conclude that SOG1 regulates DNA repair and cytokinin signaling separately and plays a key role in controlling LR formation under genotoxic stress.

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