Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 457–469 | Cite as

Comprehensive analysis of the regulatory roles of auxin in early transdifferentiation into xylem cells

  • Saiko YoshidaEmail author
  • Kuninori Iwamoto
  • Taku Demura
  • Hiroo FukudaEmail author


Auxin is essential for the formation of the vascular system. We previously reported that a polar auxin transport inhibitor, 1-N-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA) decreased intracellular auxin levels and prevented tracheary element (TE) differentiation from isolated Zinnia mesophyll cells, but that additional auxin, 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) overcame this inhibition. To understand the role of auxin in gene regulation during TE differentiation, we performed microarray analysis of genes expressed in NPA-treated cells and NPA–NAA-treated cells. The systematic gene expression analysis revealed that NAA promoted the expression of genes related to auxin signaling and transcription factors that are known to be key regulators of differentiation of procambial and xylem precursor cells. NAA also promoted the expression of genes related to biosynthesis and metabolism of other plant hormones, such as cytokinin, gibberellin and brassinosteroid. Interestingly, detailed analysis showed that NAA rapidly induces the expression of auxin carrier gene homologues. It suggested a positive feedback loop for auxin-regulating vascular differentiation. Based on these results, we discuss the auxin function in early processes of transdifferentiation into TEs.


Auxin Microarray NPA Tracheary element differentiation Zinnia elegans 



Abscisic acid












Dimethyl sulfoxide


Synthetic auxin-inducible promoter


Indole-3-acetic acid


Jasmonic acid


1-Naphthaleneacetic acid


1-N-Naphthylphthalamic acid


Tracheary element



We thank Prof. Ken Matsuoka, Tomoko Narisawa, Mami Sasaki (RIKEN Plant Science Center) for technical advice of cDNA microarray; Prof. Thomas Schmülling (Free University of Berlin) for providing us pAtCKX::GUS transgenic line; Dr. Klahre Ulrich (University of Bern) for helpful comments on the manuscript; Yoichi Yokogawa for useful advice of microarray analysis. This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid from MEXT, Japan (19060009 to HF), and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (20247003 to HF).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceThe University of TokyoBunkyo-ku, TokyoJapan
  2. 2.Plant Science CenterRIKENYokohama-shiJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Plant SciencesUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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