Ethylene Upregulates Auxin Biosynthesis in Arabidopsis Seedlings to Enhance Inhibition of Root Cell Elongation

Ranjan Swarup, Paula Perry, Dik Hagenbeek, Dominique Van Der Straeten, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Göran Sandberg, Rishikesh Bhalerao, Karin Ljung & Malcolm J. Bennett

Ethylene represents an important regulatory signal for root development. Genetic studies in Arabidopsis thaliana have demonstrated that ethylene inhibition of root growth involves another hormone signal, auxin. This study investigated why auxin was required by ethylene to regulate root growth. We initially observed that ethylene positively controls auxin biosynthesis in the root apex. We subsequently demonstrated that ethylene-regulated root growth is dependent on (1) the transport of auxin from the root apex via the lateral root cap and (2) auxin responses occurring in multiple elongation zone tissues. Detailed growth studies revealed that the ability of the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid to inhibit root cell elongation was significantly enhanced in the presence of auxin. We conclude that by upregulating auxin biosynthesis, ethylene facilitates its ability to inhibit root cell expansion.

The Plant Cell Online 19 (7), 2186-2196