Temporal root responses in Arabidopsis thaliana L. to chromate reveal structural and regulatory mechanisms involving the SOLITARY ROOT/IAA14 repressor for maintenance of identity meristem genes
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The Arabidopsis root system is modified in response to stress generated by high concentrations of nonessential ions such as chromate [Cr(VI)]. In this work, the distribution of auxin and its transporters PIN1 and PIN7, as well as the expression of genes that maintain the identity of the root meristem, were analyzed in Arabidopsis thaliana wild-type (WT) seedlings and in a mutant affected in the SOLITARY ROOT (SLR1/IAA14) locus, which is required for root response to Cr(VI). We show that primary root inhibition, auxin transporter levels, and expression of meristem identity genes were maintained in the slr-1 mutants but not in WT plants in response to Cr(VI) in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Notably, the outermost single cell layer of the lateral root cap, which normally dies and tends to peel off, remains viable and increases in size following exposure of WT plants, but not slr-1 mutants, to Cr(VI). Our results suggest that (1) the primary root tip senses Cr(VI), (2) the external lateral root cap may play a protective role during Cr(VI) exposure, and (3) Cr(VI) impacts cell division in root meristems via auxin redistribution and SLR1/IAA14 function, influencing the expression of root meristem genes.
KeywordsChromate Root growth Meristem identity Auxin
Funding was provided by Conacyt with Grant No. CB-2011-01-169769.
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