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Apical meristem exhaustion during determinate primary root growth in the moots koom 1 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana

Abstract

An indeterminate developmental program allows plant organs to grow continuously by maintaining functional meristems over time. The molecular mechanisms involved in the maintenance of the root apical meristem are not completely understood. We have identified a new Arabidopsis thaliana mutant named moots koom 1 (mko1) that showed complete root apical meristem exhaustion of the primary root by 9 days post-germination. MKO1 is essential for maintenance of root cell proliferation. In the mutant, cell division is uncoupled from cell growth in the region corresponding to the root apical meristem. We established the sequence of cellular events that lead to meristem exhaustion in this mutant. Interestingly, the SCR and WOX5 promoters were active in the mko1 quiescent center at all developmental stages. However, during meristem exhaustion, the mutant root tip showed defects in starch accumulation in the columella and changes in auxin response pattern. Therefore, contrary to many described mutants, the determinate growth in mko1 seedlings does not appear to be a consequence of incorrect establishment or affected maintenance of the quiescent center but rather of cell proliferation defects both in stem cell niche and in the rest of the apical meristem. Our results support a model whereby the MKO1 gene plays an important role in the maintenance of the root apical meristem proliferative capacity and indeterminate root growth, which apparently acts independently of the SCR/SHR and WOX5 regulatory pathways.

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Abbreviations

CLSM:

Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy

dag:

Days after germination

DMSO:

Dimethyl sulfoxide

EMS:

Ethyl methanesulfonate

GFP:

Green fluorescent protein

MS:

Murashige and Skoog medium

QC:

Quiescent center

RAM:

Root apical meristem

SSLP:

Simple Sequence Length Polymorphism

mko1 :

moots koom 1

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Acknowledgments

We thank J. M. Hurtado-Ramírez, S. Ainsworth, E. López, P, Gaitan, M. E. Salas-Ocampo, G. Zavala-Padilla, and A. M. Saralegui for excellent technical help, P. Doerner, B. Scheres, J. Friml, and K. Okada for seed donation and A. Colón-Carmona for critical reading of a previous version of the manuscript. The research was supported by the Dirección General de Asuntos del Personal Académico (DGAPA)—Programa de Apoyo a Proyectos de Investigación e Innovación Tecnológica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (grant IN212509 to S.S. and grants IN225906 and IN212009 to J.G.D.), Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Technología (CONACyT), Mexico (grant 79736 to S.S. and grants 49267 and 127957 to J.G.D.). Doctorate fellowship to A.H.-B. from CONACyT and postdoctoral fellowship from DGAPA-UNAM (to G.D., V.L.-R., A.S., and Y.U.-C.) are gratefully acknowledged.

Author information

Correspondence to Joseph G. Dubrovsky.

Additional information

A. Hernández-Barrera and Y. Ugartechea-Chirino contributed equally to this work.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Suppl. Material S1. Map location of mko1. The MKO1 locus is positioned on the lower arm of chromosome IV between SSLP markers CER453190 and CER460296. The mapped interval includes 2.7 Mb. The number of recombination events per the number of scored chromosomes for each marker and marker position are shown. The open circle indicates the centromere. The CCS52A2 (7.1 Mb), RML1 (12.1 Mb) and SHR (17. 6 Mb) loci are outside the mapping region. (TIFF 429 kb)

Suppl. Material S2 (DOC 63 kb)

Suppl. Material S3 Representative morphological features of cell differentiation in mko1 primary RAM with completely exhausted RAM. Median longitudinal sections of cleared (a, b) and pseudo-Schiff-stained (c, d) roots. Scanning electron microscopy image of the root apex (e). The mko1 exhausted meristem is characterized by the following features: mature xylem strands (arrowheads in a and b) and root hairs (white arrows in a, b, and e) or root hair bulges (yellow arrow in b) near the root apex; swollen or abnormally elongated epidermal cells (c, d). Mutant root tips with exhausted RAM can maintain a remnant root cap (c) or consist of elongated cells in the position of the root cap (d). Scale bar 20 μm (a, b) and 50 μm (c-e) (TIFF 6449 kb)

Suppl. Material S4 pWOX5::GFP expression is not restricted to the QC in wild-type and the mko1 mutant. Median longitudinal sections of pWOX5::GFP (a, b) and mko1 pWOX5::GFP (c, d) stem cell niche. GFP signal capture was obtained at the same conditions in 3- and 6-dag seedlings, and the images were enhanced post-capture using ImageJ software to facilitate visualization of the GFP distribution. When pWOX5::GFP is expressed at 3 dag in the wild-type background, GFP signal is mainly restricted to the QC (a) and is subsequently expanded to the surrounding initials by 6 dag (b). In the mko1 background, the GFP signal is relatively less restricted to the QC in 3- (c) and 6 (d)-dag seedlings (corresponding to stages I and II of the RAM exhaustion). Scale bar 20 μm (TIFF 788 kb)

Suppl. Material S5 Cell growth impairment in mko1 mutant cortex cells early after germination (1 dag). Cortical cell length at fixed cell positions within the meristematic region; cell number one is a daughter cell of the cortex-endodermis initial. Mean ± SE, n = 5 (wild type) and 7 (mko1) roots with two cells measured per root at each position (TIFF 1189 kb)

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Hernández-Barrera, A., Ugartechea-Chirino, Y., Shishkova, S. et al. Apical meristem exhaustion during determinate primary root growth in the moots koom 1 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana . Planta 234, 1163–1177 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-011-1470-4

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Keywords

  • Arabidopsis
  • Determinate growth
  • Meristem organization
  • Root apical meristem maintenance
  • Stem cells