AUX1 regulates root gravitropism in Arabidopsis by facilitating auxin uptake within root apical tissues.
Plants employ a specialized transport system composed of separate influx and efflux carriers to mobilize the plant hormone auxin between its site(s) of synthesis and action. Mutations within the permease-like AUX1 protein significantly reduce the rate of carrier-mediated auxin uptake within Arabidopsis roots, conferring an agravitropic phenotype. We are able to bypass the defect within auxin uptake and restore the gravitropic root phenotype of aux1 by growing mutant seedlings in the presence of the membrane-permeable synthetic auxin, 1-naphthaleneacetic acid. We illustrate that AUX1 expression overlaps that previously described for the auxin efflux carrier, AtPIN2, using transgenic lines expressing an AUX1 promoter::uidA (GUS) gene. Finally, we demonstrate that AUX1 regulates gravitropic curvature by acting in unison with the auxin efflux carrier to co-ordinate the localized redistribution of auxin within the Arabidopsis root apex. Our results provide the first example of a developmental role for the auxin influx carrier within higher plants and supply new insight into the molecular basis of gravitropic signalling. (+info)
Plastid sedimentation kinetics in roots of wild-type and starch-deficient mutants of Arabidopsis.
Sedimentation and movement of plastids in columella cells of the root cap were measured in seedlings of wild-type, a reduced starch mutant, and a starchless mutant of Arabidopsis. To assay for sedimentation, we used both linear measurements and the change of angle from the cell center as indices in vertical and reoriented plants with the aid of computer-assisted image analysis. Seedlings were fixed at short periods after reorientation, and plastid sedimentation correlated with starch content in the three strains of Arabidopsis. Amyloplasts of wild-type seedlings showed the greatest sedimentation, whereas plastids of the starchless mutant showed no significant sedimentation in the vertically grown and reoriented seedlings. Because previous research has shown that a full complement of starch is needed for full gravitropic sensitivity, this study correlates increased sensitivity with plastid sedimentation. However, although plastid sedimentation contributed to gravisensitivity, it was not required, because the gravitropic starchless mutant had plastids that did not sediment. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to measure plastid sedimentation in Arabidopsis roots after reorientation of seedlings. Taken together, the results of this study are consistent with the classic plastid-based and protoplast-based models of graviperception and suggest that multiple systems of perception exist in plant cells. (+info)
Plant graviperception and gravitropism: a newcomer's view.
Gravitropism is an adaptable mechanism corresponding to the directed growth by which plants orient in response to the gravity vector. The overall process is generally divided into three distinct stages: graviperception, gravitransduction, and asymmetric growth response. The phenomenology of these different steps has been described by using refined cell biology approaches combined with formal and molecular genetics. To date, it clearly appears that the cellular organization plays crucial roles in gravisensing and that gravitropism is genetically different between organs. Moreover, while interfering with other physical or chemical stimuli and sharing probably some common intermediary steps in the transduction pathway, gravity has its own perception and transduction systems. The intimate mechanisms involved in these processes have to be unveiled at the molecular level and their biological relevance addressed at the cellular and whole plant levels under normal and microgravitational conditions. gravitropism: a newcomer's view. (+info)
Statoliths motions in gravity-perceiving plant cells: does actomyosin counteract gravity?
Statocytes from plant root caps are characterized by a polar arrangement of cell organelles and sedimented statoliths. Cortical microtubules and actin microfilaments contribute to development and maintenance of this polarity, whereas the lack of endoplasmic microtubules and prominent bundles of actin microfilaments probably facilitates sedimentation of statoliths. High-resolution video microscopy shows permanent motion of statoliths even when sedimented. After immunofluorescence microscopy using antibodies against actin and myosin II the most prominent labeling was observed at and around sedimented statoliths. Experiments under microgravity have demonstrated that the positioning of statoliths depends on the external gravitational force and on internal forces, probably exerted by the actomyosin complex, and that transformation of the gravistimulus evidently occurs in close vicinity to the statoliths. These results suggest that graviperception occurs dynamically within the cytoplasm via small-distance sedimentation rather than statically at the lowermost site of sedimentation. It is hypothesized that root cap cells are comparing randomized motions with oriented motions of statoliths and thereby perceiving gravity. (+info)
Ethylene plays multiple nonprimary roles in modulating the gravitropic response in tomato.
Ethylene is known to interact with auxin in regulating stem growth, and yet evidence for the role of ethylene in tropic responses is contradictory. Our analysis of four mutants of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) altered in their response to gravity, auxin, and/or ethylene revealed concentration-dependent modulation of shoot gravitropism by ethylene. Ethylene inhibitors reduce wild-type gravicurvature, and extremely low (0.0005-0.001 microliter L-1) ethylene concentrations can restore the reduced gravitropic response of the auxin-resistant dgt (diageotropica) mutant to wild-type levels. Slightly higher concentrations of ethylene inhibit the gravitropic response of all but the ethylene-insensitive nr (never-ripe) mutant. The gravitropic responses of nr and the constitutive-response mutant epi (epinastic) are slightly and significantly delayed, respectively, but otherwise normal. The reversal of shoot gravicurvature by red light in the lz-2 (lazy-2) mutant is not affected by ethylene. Taken together, these data indicate that, although ethylene does not play a primary role in the gravitropic response of tomato, low levels of ethylene are necessary for a full gravitropic response, and moderate levels of the hormone specifically inhibit gravicurvature in a manner different from ethylene inhibition of overall growth. (+info)
Auxin-induced K+ channel expression represents an essential step in coleoptile growth and gravitropism.
Auxin-induced growth of coleoptiles depends on the presence of potassium and is suppressed by K+ channel blockers. To evaluate the role of K+ channels in auxin-mediated growth, we isolated and functionally expressed ZMK1 and ZMK2 (Zea mays K+ channel 1 and 2), two potassium channels from maize coleoptiles. In growth experiments, the time course of auxin-induced expression of ZMK1 coincided with the kinetics of coleoptile elongation. Upon gravistimulation of maize seedlings, ZMK1 expression followed the gravitropic-induced auxin redistribution. K+ channel expression increased even before a bending of the coleoptile was observed. The transcript level of ZMK2, expressed in vascular tissue, was not affected by auxin. In patch-clamp studies on coleoptile protoplasts, auxin increased K+ channel density while leaving channel properties unaffected. Thus, we conclude that coleoptile growth depends on the transcriptional up-regulation of ZMK1, an inwardly rectifying K+ channel expressed in the nonvascular tissue of this organ. (+info)
Auxin is required for leaf vein pattern in Arabidopsis.
To investigate possible roles of polar auxin transport in vein patterning, cotyledon and leaf vein patterns were compared for plants grown in medium containing polar auxin transport inhibitors (N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid, 9-hydroxyfluorene-9-carboxylic acid, and 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid) and in medium containing a less well-characterized inhibitor of auxin-mediated processes, 2-(p-chlorophynoxy)-2-methylpropionic acid. Cotyledon vein pattern was not affected by any inhibitor treatments, although vein morphology was altered. In contrast, leaf vein pattern was affected by inhibitor treatments. Growth in polar auxin transport inhibitors resulted in leaves that lacked vascular continuity through the petiole and had broad, loosely organized midveins, an increased number of secondary veins, and a dense band of misshapen tracheary elements adjacent to the leaf margin. Analysis of leaf vein pattern developmental time courses suggested that the primary vein did not develop in polar auxin transport inhibitor-grown plants, and that the broad midvein observed in these seedlings resulted from the coalescence of proximal regions of secondary veins. Possible models for leaf vein patterning that could account for these observations are discussed. (+info)
Changes in cytosolic pH within Arabidopsis root columella cells play a key role in the early signaling pathway for root gravitropism.
Ratiometric wide-field fluorescence microscopy with 1',7'- bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5-(and-6)-carboxyfluorescein (BCECF)-dextran demonstrated that gravistimulation leads to rapid changes in cytoplasmic pH (pHc) in columella cells of Arabidopsis roots. The pHc of unstimulated columella cells in tiers 2 and 3, known sites of graviperception (E.B. Blancaflor, J.B. Fasano, S. Gilroy  Plant Physiol 116: 213-222), was 7.22 +/- 0.02 pH units. Following gravistimulation, the magnitude and direction of pHc changes in these cells depended on their location in the columella. Cells in the lower side of tier 2 became more alkaline by 0.4 unit within 55 s of gravistimulation, whereas alkalinization of the cells on the upper side was slower (100 s). In contrast, all cells in tier 3 acidified by 0.4 pH unit within 480 s after gravistimulation. Disrupting these pHc changes in the columella cells using pHc modifiers at concentrations that do not affect root growth altered the gravitropic response. Acidifying agents, including bafilomycin A1, enhanced curvature, whereas alkalinizing agents disrupted gravitropic bending. These results imply that pHc changes in the gravisensing cells and the resultant pH gradients across the root cap are important at an early stage in the signal cascade leading to the gravitropic response. (+info)