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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

A network of stress-related genes regulates hypocotyl elongation downstream of selective auxin perception

Rigal, Adeline; Doyle, Siamsa M.; Ritter, Andres; Raggi, Sara; Vain, Thomas; O'Brien, Jose Antonio; Goossens, Alain; Pauwels, Laurens; Robert, Stephanie


The plant hormone auxin, a master coordinator of development, regulates hypocotyl elongation during seedling growth. We previously identified the synthetic molecule RubNeddin 1 (RN1), which induces degradation of the AUXIN/INDOLE-3-ACETIC ACID (AUX/IAA) transcriptional repressors INDOLE-3-ACETIC ACID-INDUCIBLE3 (IAA3) and IAA7 in planta and strongly promotes hypocotyl elongation. In the present study, we show that despite the structural similarity of RN1 to the synthetic auxin 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic-acid (2,4-D), direct treatments with these compounds in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) result in distinct effects, possibly due to enhanced uptake of RN1 and low-level, chronic release of 2,4-D from RN1 in planta. We confirm RN1-induced hypocotyl elongation occurs via specific TRANSPORT INHIBITOR RESISTANT1 (TIR1)/AUXIN SIGNALING F-BOX (AFB) receptor-mediated auxin signaling involving TIR1, AFB2, and AFB5. Using a transcriptome profiling strategy and candidate gene approach, we identify the genes ZINC FINGER OF ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA10 (ZAT10), ARABIDOPSIS TOXICOS EN LEVADURA31 (ATL31), and WRKY DNA-BINDING PROTEIN33 (WRKY33) as being rapidly upregulated by RN1, despite being downregulated by 2,4-D treatment. RN1-induced expression of these genes also occurs via TIR1/AFB-mediated auxin signaling. Our results suggest both hypocotyl elongation and transcription of these genes are induced by RN1 via the promoted degradation of the AUX/IAA transcriptional repressor IAA7. Moreover, these three genes, which are known to be stress-related, act in an inter-dependent transcriptional regulatory network controlling hypocotyl elongation. Together, our results suggest ZAT10, ATL31, and WRKY33 take part in a common gene network regulating hypocotyl elongation in Arabidopsis downstream of a selective auxin perception module likely involving TIR1, AFB2, and AFB5 and inducing the degradation of IAA7.

Published in

Plant Physiology
2021, Volume: 187, number: 1, pages: 430-445