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Plant Physiol. 2006 Oct;142(2):542-52. Epub 2006 Aug 18.

Mutations in an auxin receptor homolog AFB5 and in SGT1b confer resistance to synthetic picolinate auxins and not to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid or indole-3-acetic acid in Arabidopsis.

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Dow AgroSciences, Discovery Research, Indianapolis, Indiana 46268, USA.


Although a wide range of structurally diverse small molecules can act as auxins, it is unclear whether all of these compounds act via the same mechanisms that have been characterized for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). To address this question, we used a novel member of the picolinate class of synthetic auxins that is structurally distinct from 2,4-D to screen for Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) mutants that show chemically selective auxin resistance. We identified seven alleles at two distinct genetic loci that conferred significant resistance to picolinate auxins such as picloram, yet had minimal cross-resistance to 2,4-D or IAA. Double mutants had the same level and selectivity of resistance as single mutants. The sites of the mutations were identified by positional mapping as At4g11260 and At5g49980. At5g49980 is previously uncharacterized and encodes auxin signaling F-box protein 5, one of five homologs of TIR1 in the Arabidopsis genome. TIR1 is the recognition component of the Skp1-cullin-F-box complex associated with the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway involved in auxin signaling and has recently been shown to be a receptor for IAA and 2,4-D. At4g11260 encodes the tetratricopeptide protein SGT1b that has also been associated with Skp1-cullin-F-box-mediated ubiquitination in auxin signaling and other pathways. Complementation of mutant lines with their corresponding wild-type genes restored picolinate auxin sensitivity. These results show that chemical specificity in auxin signaling can be conferred by upstream components of the auxin response pathway. They also demonstrate the utility of genetic screens using structurally diverse chemistries to uncover novel pathway components.

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