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Plant Physiol. 1990 Nov;94(3):1462-6.

The aux1 Mutation of Arabidopsis Confers Both Auxin and Ethylene Resistance.

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Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405.


Mutagenized populations of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings were screened for plants capable of root growth on inhibitory concentrations of the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid. Four of the mutant lines recovered from this screen display a defect in root gravitropism as well as hormone resistance. The aerial portions of these plants are similar to wild-type in appearance. Genetic analysis of these four mutants demonstrated that hormone resistance segregated as a recessive trait and that all four mutations were alleles of the auxin-resistant mutation aux1 [Maher HP, Martindale SJB (1980) Biochem Genet 18: 1041-1053]. These new mutants have been designated aux1-7, 1-12, 1-15, and 1-19. The sensitivity of wild-type and aux1-7 roots to indole-3-acetic acid, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, and ethylene was determined. The results of these assays show that aux1-7 plants require a 12-fold (indole-3-acetic acid) or 18-fold (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) higher concentration of auxin than wild-type for a 50% inhibition of root growth. In addition, ethylene inhibition of root growth in aux1-7 plants is approximately 30% that of wild-type at saturating ethylene concentrations. These results indicate that aux1 plants are resistant to both auxin and ethylene. We have also determined the effect of ethylene treatment on chlorophyll loss and peroxidase activity in the leaves of aux1 and wild-type plants. No difference between mutant and wild-type plants was observed in these experiments, indicating that hormone resistance in aux1 plants may be limited to root growth. Our studies suggest that the AUX1 gene may have a specific function in the hormonal regulation of gravitropism.


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