Journal Article

Arabidopsis thaliana RALF1 opposes brassinosteroid effects on root cell elongation and lateral root formation

Tábata Bergonci, Bianca Ribeiro, Paulo H.O. Ceciliato, Juan Carlos Guerrero-Abad, Marcio C. Silva-Filho and Daniel S. Moura

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Volume 65, issue 8, pages 2219-2230
Published in print May 2014 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online March 2014 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:

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Rapid alkalinization factor (RALF) is a peptide signal that plays a basic role in cell biology and most likely regulates cell expansion. In this study, transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana lines with high and low levels of AtRALF1 transcripts were used to investigate this peptide’s mechanism of action. Overexpression of the root-specific isoform AtRALF1 resulted in reduced cell size. Conversely, AtRALF1 silencing increased root length by increasing the size of root cells. AtRALF1-silenced plants also showed an increase in the number of lateral roots, whereas AtRALF1 overexpression produced the opposite effect. In addition, four AtRALF1-inducible genes were identified: two genes encoding proline-rich proteins (AtPRP1 and AtPRP3), one encoding a hydroxyproline-rich glycoprotein (AtHRPG2), and one encoding a xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (TCH4). These genes were expressed in roots and involved in cell-wall rearrangement, and their induction was concentration dependent. Furthermore, AtRALF1-overexpressing plants were less sensitive to exogenous brassinolide (BL); upon BL treatment, the plants showed no increase in root length and a compromised increase in hypocotyl elongation. In addition, the treatment had no effect on the number of emerged lateral roots. AtRALF1 also induces two brassinosteroid (BR)-downregulated genes involved in the BR biosynthetic pathway: the cytochrome P450 monooxygenases CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHISM AND DWARFISM (CPD) and DWARF4 (DWF4). Simultaneous treatment with both AtRALF1 and BL caused a reduction in AtRALF1-inducible gene expression levels, suggesting that these signals may compete for components shared by both pathways. Taken together, these results indicate an opposing effect of AtRALF1 and BL, and suggest that RALF’s mechanism of action could be to interfere with the BR signalling pathway.

Keywords: Root development; brassinolide; peptide hormone.

Journal Article.  9158 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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