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Plant Cell. 2017 Jun;29(6):1373-1387. doi: 10.1105/tpc.16.00579. Epub 2017 Jun 2.

Cytokinin Signaling Activates WUSCHEL Expression during Axillary Meristem Initiation.

Wang J1,2, Tian C1, Zhang C1, Shi B1,2, Cao X1,2, Zhang TQ3,4, Zhao Z5, Wang JW3,6, Jiao Y7,2.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and National Center for Plant Gene Research, Beijing 100101, China.
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
3
National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China.
4
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200032, China.
5
School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230027, China.
6
ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai 200031, China.
7
State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and National Center for Plant Gene Research, Beijing 100101, China yljiao@genetics.ac.cn.

Abstract

The homeodomain transcription factor WUSCHEL (WUS) defines the shoot stem cell niche, but the mechanisms underlying the establishment of WUS expression remain unclear. Here, we show that cytokinin signaling precedes WUS expression in leaf axils and activates WUS expression de novo in the leaf axil to promote axillary meristem initiation. Furthermore, type-B Arabidopsis response regulator proteins, which are transcriptional activators in the cytokinin signaling pathway, directly bind to the WUS promoter and activate its expression. Finally, we show that cytokinin activation of WUS in the leaf axil correlates with increased histone acetylation and methylation markers associated with transcriptional activation, supporting the fact that WUS expression requires a permissive epigenetic environment to restrict it to highly defined meristematic tissues. Taken together, these findings explain how cytokinin regulates axillary meristem initiation and establish a mechanistic framework for the postembryonic establishment of the shoot stem cell niche.

PMID:
28576845
PMCID:
PMC5502442
DOI:
10.1105/tpc.16.00579
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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