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Keywords:

  • anti-auxin;
  • Arabidopsis thaliana;
  • indole-3-acetic acid (IAA);
  • p-chlorophenoxy-isobutyric acid (PCIB);
  • signal transduction

Summary

2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), a chemical analogue of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), is widely used as a growth regulator and exogenous source of auxin. Because 2,4-D evokes physiological and molecular responses similar to those evoked by IAA, it is believed that they share a common response pathway. Here, we show that a mutant, antiauxin resistant1 (aar1), identified in a screen for resistance to the anti-auxin p-chlorophenoxy-isobutyric acid (PCIB), is resistant to 2,4-D, yet nevertheless responds like the wild-type to IAA and 1-napthaleneacetic acid in root elongation and lateral root induction assays. That the aar1 mutation alters 2,4-D responsiveness specifically was confirmed by analysis of GUS expression in the DR5:GUS and HS:AXR3NT-GUS backgrounds, as well as by real-time PCR quantification of IAA11 expression. The two characterized aar1 alleles both harbor multi-gene deletions; however, 2,4-D responsiveness was restored by transformation with one of the genes missing in both alleles, and the 2,4-D-resistant phenotype was reproduced by decreasing the expression of the same gene in the wild-type using an RNAi construct. The gene encodes a small, acidic protein (SMAP1) with unknown function and present in plants, animals and invertebrates but not in fungi or prokaryotes. Taken together, these results suggest that SMAP1 is a regulatory component that mediates responses to 2,4-D, and that responses to 2,4-D and IAA are partially distinct.