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Cell. 2019 Jul 11;178(2):400-412.e16. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.06.021.

Root System Depth in Arabidopsis Is Shaped by EXOCYST70A3 via the Dynamic Modulation of Auxin Transport.

Author information

1
Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, and Integrative Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA, USA; Gregor Mendel Institute (GMI), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna Biocenter (VBC), Dr. Bohr-Gasse 3, 1030 Vienna, Austria.
2
Gregor Mendel Institute (GMI), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna Biocenter (VBC), Dr. Bohr-Gasse 3, 1030 Vienna, Austria.
3
Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, and Integrative Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA, USA; Gregor Mendel Institute (GMI), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna Biocenter (VBC), Dr. Bohr-Gasse 3, 1030 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: wbusch@salk.edu.

Abstract

Root system architecture (RSA), the distribution of roots in soil, plays a major role in plant survival. RSA is shaped by multiple developmental processes that are largely governed by the phytohormone auxin, suggesting that auxin regulates responses of roots that are important for local adaptation. However, auxin has a central role in numerous processes, and it is unclear which molecular mechanisms contribute to the variation in RSA for environmental adaptation. Using natural variation in Arabidopsis, we identify EXOCYST70A3 as a modulator of the auxin system that causes variation in RSA by acting on PIN4 protein distribution. Allelic variation and genetic perturbation of EXOCYST70A3 lead to alteration of root gravitropic responses, resulting in a different RSA depth profile and drought resistance. Overall our findings suggest that the local modulation of the pleiotropic auxin pathway can gives rise to distinct RSAs that can be adaptive in specific environments.

KEYWORDS:

Arabidopsis thaliana; EXOCYST; GWAS; PIN4; adaptation; auxin; genome-wide association study; natural variation; plant biology; root depth; root development; root system architecture

PMID:
31299202
DOI:
10.1016/j.cell.2019.06.021

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