Study : An essential role for Abscisic acid in the regulation of xylem fibre differentiation


An essential role for Abscisic acid in the regulation of xylem fibre differentiation
The Arabidopsis hypocotyl is an excellent model for understanding radial growth in plants. Division of the cambial cells and their subsequent differentiation into xylem and phloem drives radial expansion of the hypocotyl. Following the transition to reproductive growth, a phase change occurs in the Arabidopsis hypocotyl. During this second phase, the relative rate of xylem production is dramatically increased compared to that of phloem and xylem fibres containing thick secondary cell walls also form, which results in the production of xylem tissue comparable to the wood of trees. Abscisic acid (ABA) is a phytohormone known to have a major role in various plant processes, including in the response to changes in environmental conditions and in the promotion of seed dormancy. Using two different genetic backgrounds and different environmental conditions, we identified a set of core of transcriptional changes associated with the switch to the second phase of growth in the hypocotyl. ABA signalling pathways were identified as being as significantly over-represented in this set of core genes. Reverse genetic analysis demonstrated that mutants defective in ABA-biosynthesis enzymes exhibited significantly delayed fibre production without affecting the xylem:phloem ratio. The altered morphology is also reflected at the transcript level, with a reduced expression of marker genes associated with fibre formation in aba1 mutants. The application of exogenous ABA to the mutant rescued the phenotype, restoring fibre differentiation to wild-type levels. Taken together the data reveals an essential role for ABA in the regulation of fibre formation. Overall design: We used RNA-seq to probe transcripome changes in Arabidopsis thaliana transgenic line 35S::CO:GR co-2 tt4 during dexamethasone treatment to follow xylem transition from phase I to phase II


Accession number Name Taxon