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Narciclasine inhibits the responses of Arabidopsis roots to auxin

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The plant hormone auxin plays a central role in the regulation of plant growth and development, as well as in responses to environmental stimuli. Narciclasine (NCS, an Amaryllidaceae alkaloid) isolated from Narcissus tazetta bulbs has a broad range of inhibitory effects on plants. In this study, the role of NCS in responses to auxin in Arabidopsis thaliana roots was investigated. We demonstrated the inhibitory effects of NCS on auxin-inducible lateral root formation, root hair formation, primary root growth, and the expression of primary auxin-inducible genes in Arabidopsis roots using DR5::GUS reporter gene, native auxin promoters (IAA12::GUS, IAA13::GUS), and quantitative reverse transcription PCR analysis. Results also showed that NCS did not affect the expression of cytokinin-inducible ARR5::GUS reporter gene. NCS relieved the auxin-enhanced degradation of the Aux/IAA repressor modulated by the SCFTIR1 ubiquitin–proteasome pathway. In addition, NCS did not alter the auxin-stimulated interaction between IAA7/AXR2 (Aux/IAA proteins) and the F-box protein TIR1 activity of the proteasome. Taken together, these results suggest that NCS acts on the auxin signaling pathway upstream of TIR1, which modulates Aux/IAA protein degradation, and thereby affects the auxin-mediated responses in Arabidopsis roots.

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Auxin response factor


Auxin/indole-3-acetic acid


Auxin response elements




2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid


Gretchen Hagen3


Indole-3-acetic acid


Lateral root


1-Naphthaleneacetic acid




1-Naphthylphthalamic acid


p-Chlorophenoxyisobutyric acid


Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR


Small auxin up RNA


Triiodobenzoic acid


Transport inhibitor response1/auxin signaling F-box protein


Terfestatin A


Wild type


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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30670191). The authors thank Ben Scheres (Utrecht University, The Netherlands) for DR5::GUS plants, Mark Estelle (University of California San Diego, USA) for GST-AXR2-expressing E. coli, myc-TIR1 seeds, D. Weijers (ZMBP, Germany) for IAA13::GUS, IAA12::GUS, and ARR5::GUS, HS::AXR3NT-GUS, HS::axr3-1NT-GUS, HS::GUS, tir1-1, axr1-3, axr1-12, aux1-7 mutants from the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (Columbus, OH, USA). We thank Dr. Jiangqi Wen for comments on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Yurong Bi.

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Hu, Y., Yang, L., Na, X. et al. Narciclasine inhibits the responses of Arabidopsis roots to auxin. Planta 236, 597–612 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-012-1632-z

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  • Auxin signaling
  • Aux/IAAs
  • Lateral root
  • Narciclasine
  • Proteasome
  • SCFTIR1 ubiquitin protein ligase