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Free Content Potassium carrier TRH1 is required for auxin transport in Arabidopsis roots

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Summary

Disruption of the TRH1 potassium transporter impairs root hair development in Arabidopsis, and also affects root gravitropic behaviour. Rescue of these morphological defects by exogenous auxin indicates a link between TRH1 activity and auxin transport. In agreement with this hypothesis, the rate of auxin translocation from shoots to roots and efflux of [3H]IAA in isolated root segments were reduced in the trh1 mutant, but efflux of radiolabelled auxin was accelerated in yeast cells transformed with the TRH1 gene. In roots, ProTRH1:GUS expression was localized to the root cap cells which are known to be the sites of gravity perception and are central for the redistribution of auxin fluxes. Consistent with these findings, auxin-dependent DR5:GUS promoter-reporter construct was misexpressed in the trh1 mutant indicating that partial block of auxin transport through the root cap is associated with upstream accumulation of the phytohormone in protoxylem cells. When [K+] in the medium was reduced from 20 to 0.1 mm, wild type roots showed mild agravitropic phenotype and DR5:GUS misexpression in stelar cells. This pattern of response to low external [K+] was also affected by trh1 mutation. We conclude that the TRH1 carrier is an important part of auxin transport system in Arabidopsis roots.
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Keywords: K+ transporters; auxin; gravitropism; plant development; root; root hairs

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Agricultural Sciences, Imperial College London, Wye Campus, Wye, Ashford, Kent TN25 5AH, UK, 2: Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 118 55 Athens, Greece, and 3: Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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