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Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

Cytokinin-Auxin Crosstalk in the Gynoecial Primordium Ensures Correct Domain Patterning

Mueller, Christina Joy; Larsson, Emma; Spichal, Lukas; Sundberg, Eva


The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) gynoecium consists of two congenitally fused carpels made up of two lateral valve domains and two medial domains, which retain meristematic properties and later fuse to produce the female reproductive structures vital for fertilization. Polar auxin transport (PAT) is important for setting up distinct apical auxin signaling domains in the early floral meristem remnants allowing for lateral domain identity and outgrowth. Crosstalk between auxin and cytokinin plays an important role in the development of other meristematic tissues, but hormone interaction studies to date have focused on more accessible later-stage gynoecia and the spatiotemporal interactions pivotal for patterning of early gynoecium primordia remain unknown. Focusing on the earliest stages, we propose a cytokinin-auxin feedback model during early gynoecium patterning and hormone homeostasis. Our results suggest that cytokinin positively regulates auxin signaling in the incipient gynoecial primordium and strengthen the concept that cytokinin regulates auxin homeostasis during gynoecium development. Specifically, medial cytokinin promotes auxin biosynthesis components [YUCCA1/4 (YUC1/4)] in, and PINFORMED7 (PIN7)-mediated auxin efflux from, the medial domain. The resulting laterally focused auxin signaling triggers ARABIDOPSIS HISTIDINE PHOSPHOTRANSFER PROTEIN6 (AHP6), which then represses cytokinin signaling in a PAT-dependent feedback. Cytokinin also down-regulates PIN3, promoting auxin accumulation in the apex. The yuc1, yuc4, and ahp6 mutants are hypersensitive to exogenous cytokinin and 1-napthylphthalamic acid (NPA), highlighting their role in mediolateral gynoecium patterning. In summary, these mechanisms self-regulate cytokinin and auxin signaling domains, ensuring correct domain specification and gynoecium development.

Published in

Plant Physiology
2017, Volume: 175, number: 3, pages: 1144-1157