Cytokinin-induced growth in the duckweeds Lemna gibba and Spirodela polyrhiza
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Duckweeds, quick-growing aquatic plants, have been recently recognized as promising hosts for the large-scale production of recombinant proteins and as an ideal biomass feedstock for biofuel production. These possible wide-spread industrial uses of duckweeds intensified research aimed at understanding the mechanisms that control duckweed growth. Here, we describe how the hormone cytokinin affects growth. We performed a number of standard cytokinin growth- and physiological-response assays using sterile-grown colonies of Lemna gibba and Spirodela polyrhiza. Similar to land plants, cytokinin inhibited root elongation in duckweeds. Surprisingly, and in contrast to land plants, cytokinin promoted growth of aerial organs in both duckweed species, suggesting that the cytokinin growth response fundamentally differs between aquatic and land plants.
KeywordsCytokinin Duckweed Lemna gibba Spirodela polyrhiza Growth promotion
We thank Rutgers Duckweed Stock Cooperative for the duckweed species and Drs. S. DeBolt and M. Nair for help with the confocal microsopy. This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, HATCH Project 1009329, and by the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center. Confocal microscopy work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. 1355438.
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