l-Cysteine desulfhydrase-dependent hydrogen sulfide is required for methane-induced lateral root formation

  • Yudong Mei
  • Yingying Zhao
  • Xinxin Jin
  • Ren Wang
  • Na Xu
  • Jiawen Hu
  • Liqin Huang
  • Rongzhan Guan
  • Wenbiao Shen


Key message

Methane-triggered lateral root formation is not only a universal event, but also dependent on l-cysteine desulfhydrase-dependent hydrogen sulfide signaling.


Whether or how methane (CH4) triggers lateral root (LR) formation has not been elucidated. In this report, CH4 induction of lateral rooting and the role of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) were dissected in tomato and Arabidopsis by using physiological, anatomical, molecular, and genetic approaches. First, we discovered that CH4 induction of lateral rooting is a universal event. Exogenously applied CH4 not only triggered tomato lateral rooting, but also increased activities of l-cysteine desulfhydrase (DES; a major synthetic enzyme of H2S) and induced endogenous H2S production, and contrasting responses were observed in the presence of hypotaurine (HT; a scavenger of H2S) or dl-propargylglycine (PAG; an inhibitor of DES) alone. CH4-triggered lateral rooting were sensitive to the inhibition of endogenous H2S with HT or PAG. The changes in the transcripts of representative cell cycle regulatory genes, miRNA and its target genes were matched with above phenotypes. In the presence of CH4, Arabidopsis mutant Atdes1 exhibited defects in lateral rooting, compared with the wild-type. Molecular evidence showed that the transcriptional profiles of representative target genes modulated by CH4 in wild-type plants were impaired in Atdes1 mutant. Overall, our data demonstrate the main branch of the DES-dependent H2S signaling cascade in CH4-triggered LR formation.


Arabidopsis l-cysteine desulfhydrase Hydrogen sulfide Lateral root formation Methane Tomato 



This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province of China (BK20181317), the National Key Research and Development Plan (2016YFD0101306), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (KYTZ201402), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31772292), and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD).

Author Contributions

YM, YZ, XJ, RW, NX, JH, LH and WS planned and designed the research; YM, YZ, XJ, RW, NX, JH, LH and RG performed experiments; YM, YZ, XJ, RW, NX, JH, RG and WS analysed data; YM, YZ, RW, LH, RG and WS wrote the manuscript.

Supplementary material

11103_2018_817_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1823 KB)


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life Sciences, Laboratory Center of Life SciencesNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Institute of BotanyJiangsu Province and Chinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  3. 3.College of SciencesNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Modern Crop ProductionNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina

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