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Overexpression of the non-canonical Aux/IAA genes causes auxin-related aberrant phenotypes in Arabidopsis

Authors

  • Atsuko Sato,

    1. Division of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
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  • Kotaro T. Yamamoto

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
    2. Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
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*e-mail: kty@sci.hokudai.ac.jp

Abstract

Degradation of Aux/IAA proteins which are triggered by the ubiquitin ligase complex containing the auxin F-box receptors (AFBs), is thought to be the primary reaction of auxin signaling. Upon auxin perception, AFBs bind domain II of Aux/IAA proteins that is conserved in most of the 29 family members in Arabidopsis. However, IAA20 and IAA30 lack domain II. Furthermore, IAA31, which forms a single clade with IAA20 and IAA30 in Aux/IAA protein family, has a partially conserved domain II, which contains an amino acid substitution that would cause a dominant mutation of Aux/IAA genes. It has been shown that the half-lives of these proteins are much longer than those of the canonical Aux/IAA proteins. We generated overexpression lines (OXs) of IAA20, IAA30 and IAA31 by the use of cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter to better understand the molecular function of atypical Aux/IAA proteins in Arabidopsis. OXs of the three genes exhibited similar auxin-related aberrant phenotypes, with IAA20 OX showing the most severe defects: Some of them showed a semi-dwarf phenotype; gravitropic growth orientation was often affected in hypocotyl and root; vasculature of cotyledons was malformed; the primary root stopped growing soon after germination because of collapse of root apical meristem. IAA 20 and IAA30 were early auxin inducible, but IAA31 was not. These results showed that the wild-type genes of the three Aux/IAAs could disturb auxin physiology when ectopically overexpressed.

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