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Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences

Phloem-associated auxin response maxima determine radial positioning of lateral roots in maize.


PMID 22527395

Abstract

In Arabidopsis thaliana, lateral-root-forming competence of pericycle cells is associated with their position at the xylem poles and depends on the establishment of protoxylem-localized auxin response maxima. In maize, our histological analyses revealed an interruption of the pericycle at the xylem poles, and confirmed the earlier reported proto-phloem-specific lateral root initiation. Phloem-pole pericycle cells were larger and had thinner cell walls compared with the other pericycle cells, highlighting the heterogeneous character of the maize root pericycle. A maize DR5::RFP marker line demonstrated the presence of auxin response maxima in differentiating xylem cells at the root tip and in cells surrounding the proto-phloem vessels. Chemical inhibition of auxin transport indicated that the establishment of the phloem-localized auxin response maxima is crucial for lateral root formation in maize, because in their absence, random divisions of pericycle and endodermis cells occurred, not resulting in organogenesis. These data hint at an evolutionarily conserved mechanism, in which the establishment of vascular auxin response maxima is required to trigger cells in the flanking outer tissue layer for lateral root initiation. It further indicates that lateral root initiation is not dependent on cellular specification or differentiation of the type of vascular tissue.

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