Floral transition, the onset of plant reproduction, involves changes in shape and identity of the shoot apical meristem (SAM). The change in shape, termed doming, occurs early during floral transition when it is induced by environmental cues such as changes in day-length, but how it is regulated at the cellular level is unknown. We defined the morphological and cellular features of the SAM during floral transition of Arabidopsis thaliana. Both cell number and size increased during doming, and these changes were partially controlled by the gene regulatory network (GRN) that triggers flowering. Furthermore, dynamic modulation of expression of gibberellin biosynthesis and catabolism enzymes at the SAM contributed to doming. Expression of these enzymes was regulated by two MADS-domain transcription factors implicated in flowering. We provide a temporal and spatial framework for integrating the flowering GRN with cellular changes at the SAM, and highlight the role of local regulation of gibberellin.
All data generated this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1, 3, 6 and 7 and 8
- Atsuko Kinoshita
- Atsuko Kinoshita
- George Coupland
- George Coupland
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Hao Yu, National University of Singapore & Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore
© 2020, Kinoshita et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The GNOM (GN) Guanine nucleotide Exchange Factor for ARF small GTPases (ARF-GEF) is among the best studied trafficking regulators in plants, playing crucial and unique developmental roles in patterning and polarity. The current models place GN at the Golgi apparatus (GA), where it mediates secretion/recycling, and at the plasma membrane (PM) presumably contributing to clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). The mechanistic basis of the developmental function of GN, distinct from the other ARF-GEFs including its closest homologue GNOM-LIKE1 (GNL1), remains elusive. Insights from this study largely extend the current notions of GN function. We show that GN, but not GNL1, localizes to the cell periphery at long-lived structures distinct from clathrin-coated pits, while CME and secretion proceed normally in gn knockouts. The functional GN mutant variant GNfewerroots, absent from the GA, suggests that the cell periphery is the major site of GN action responsible for its developmental function. Following inhibition by Brefeldin A, GN, but not GNL1, relocates to the PM likely on exocytic vesicles, suggesting selective molecular associations en route to the cell periphery. A study of GN-GNL1 chimeric ARF-GEFs indicates that all GN domains contribute to the specific GN function in a partially redundant manner. Together, this study offers significant steps toward the elucidation of the mechanism underlying unique cellular and development functions of GNOM.
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