Development (Cambridge, England)

Identification of SHRUBBY, a SHORT-ROOT and SCARECROW interacting protein that controls root growth and radial patterning.

PMID 23444357


The timing and extent of cell division is particularly important for the growth and development of multicellular organisms. Roots of the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana have been widely studied as a paradigm for organ development in plants. In the Arabidopsis root, the plant-specific GRAS family transcription factors SHORT-ROOT (SHR) and SCARECROW (SCR) are key regulators of root growth and of the asymmetric cell divisions that separate the ground tissue into two separate layers: the endodermis and cortex. To elucidate the role of SHR in root development, we identified 17 SHR-interacting proteins. Among those isolated was At5g24740, which we named SHRUBBY (SHBY). SHBY is a vacuolar sorting protein with similarity to the gene responsible for Cohen syndrome in humans. Hypomorphic alleles of shby caused poor root growth, decreased meristematic activity and defects in radial patterning that are characterized by an increase in the number of cell divisions in the ground tissue that lead to extra cells in the cortex and endodermis, as well as additional cell layers. Analysis of genetic and molecular markers indicates that SHBY acts in a pathway that partially overlaps with SHR, SCR, PLETHORA1 and PLETHORA2 (PLT1 and PLT2). The shby-1 root phenotype was partially phenocopied by treatment of wild-type roots with the proteosome inhibitor MG132 or the gibberellic acid (GA) synthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol (PAC). Our results indicate that SHBY controls root growth downstream of GA in part through the regulation of SHR and SCR.