Arabidopsis thaliana as a Model System for Graft Union Development in Homografts and Heterografts

Abstract

Homografting of Arabidopsis thaliana scions on stocks of A. thaliana and heterografting on other species were used to study the compatibility and the ontogeny of graft union formation. Highly compatible homografting with scions of young leafy inflorescence stems was obtained on stocks of inflorescence stems growing from large 3-month-old A. thaliana plants. Histologic analysis revealed four developmental stages of graft union formation in Arabidopsis homografting: (1) development of a necrotic layer, (2) callus proliferation in the grafted scion, (3) differentiation of new vascular tissues within the scion, and (4) a full vascular graft union formation between the scion and the stock. Vascular connections were formed within the callus bridge between rootstocks and scions 15 days after grafting. Heterografts of Arabidopsis on two members of Brassicaceae, cabbage (Brassica) and radish (Raphanus), showed partial incompatible interaction with a lower level of vascular differentiation. Arabidopsis grafting on tomato (Solanaceae) rootstock showed complete incompatibility and limited noncontinuous differentiation of new vascular tissues that did not cross the scion/stock boundary. Although lacking scion/stock vascular connections, Arabidopsis scions grafted onto tomato rootstock flowered and produced seeds. This may indicate some nonvascular functional connections between the two plants, probably of parenchyma cells, further emphasizing the usefulness of Arabidopsis as a model plant for studying various levels of the complicated scion/stock relationships expressed in grafting biology. Experiments with dye transport in the xylem showed that although in general there was an agreement between the histologic study and dye transport, in Arabidopsis homografts water transport frequency was lower than functional and histologic compatability. We conclude that homografting and heterografting of Arabidopsis inflorescence stems is a convenient and reproducible method for studying the fundamental cellular genetic and molecular aspects of grafting biology.

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Correspondence to Moshe A. Flaishman.

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Flaishman, M.A., Loginovsky, K., Golobowich, S. et al. Arabidopsis thaliana as a Model System for Graft Union Development in Homografts and Heterografts. J Plant Growth Regul 27, 231 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00344-008-9050-y

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Keywords

  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Inflorescence stems
  • Grafting
  • Incompatibility
  • Vascular differentiation