Journal Article

Expression of a gymnosperm <i>PIN</i> homologous gene correlates with auxin immunolocalization pattern at cotyledon formation and in demarcation of the procambium during <i>Picea abies</i> somatic embryo development and in seedling tissues

Joakim Palovaara, Henrik Hallberg, Claudio Stasolla, Bert Luit and Inger Hakman

in Tree Physiology

Volume 30, issue 4, pages 479-489
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 0829-318X
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1758-4469 | DOI:
Expression of a gymnosperm PIN homologous gene correlates with auxin immunolocalization pattern at cotyledon formation and in demarcation of the procambium during Picea abies somatic embryo development and in seedling tissues

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In seed plants, the body organization is established during embryogenesis and is uniform across gymnosperms and angiosperms, despite differences during early embryogeny. Evidence from angiosperms implicates the plant hormone auxin and its polar transport, mainly established by the PIN family of auxin efflux transporters, in the patterning of embryos. Here, PaPIN1 from Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.), a gene widely expressed in conifer tissues and organs, was characterized and its expression and localization patterns were determined with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization during somatic embryo development and in seedlings. PaPIN1 shares the predicted structure of other PIN proteins, but its central hydrophilic loop is longer than most PINs. In phylogenetic analyses, PaPIN1 clusters with Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. PIN3, PIN4 and PIN7, but its expression pattern also suggests similarity to PIN1. The PaPIN1 expression signal was high in the protoderm of pre-cotyledonary embryos, but not if embryos were pre-treated with the auxin transport inhibitor N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA). This, together with a high auxin immunolocalization signal in this cell layer, suggests a role of PaPIN1 during cotyledon formation. At later stages, high PaPIN1 expression was observed in differentiating procambium, running from the tip of incipient cotyledons down through the embryo axis and to the root apical meristem (RAM), although the mode of RAM specification in conifer embryos differs from that of most angiosperms. Also, the PaPIN1 in situ signal was high in seedling root tips including root cap columella cells. The results thus suggest that PaPIN1 provides an ancient function associated with auxin transport and embryo pattern formation prior to the separation of angiosperms and gymnosperms, in spite of some morphological differences.

Keywords: conifer; embryo patterning; in situ hybridization; meristem; NPA; polar auxin transport (PAT); protoderm; RT-PCR

Journal Article.  7753 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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