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Keywords:

  • cell wall;
  • MYB;
  • root architecture;
  • seed coat mucilage;
  • transpiration stream;
  • xylem

Summary

  • Throughout their lifetimes, plants must coordinate the regulation of various facets of growth and development. Previous evidence has suggested that the Arabidopsis thaliana R2R3-MYB, AtMYB61, might function as a coordinate regulator of multiple aspects of plant resource allocation.
  • Using a combination of cell biology, transcriptome analysis and biochemistry, in conjunction with gain-of-function and loss-of-function genetics, the role of AtMYB61 in conditioning resource allocation throughout the plant life cycle was explored.
  • In keeping with its role as a regulator of resource allocation, AtMYB61 is expressed in sink tissues, notably xylem, roots and developing seeds. Loss of AtMYB61 function decreases xylem formation, induces qualitative changes in xylem cell structure and decreases lateral root formation; in contrast, gain of AtMYB61 function has the opposite effect on these traits. AtMYB61 coordinates a small network of downstream target genes, which contain a motif in their upstream regulatory regions that is bound by AtMYB61, and AtMYB61 activates transcription from this same motif. Loss-of-function analysis supports the hypothesis that AtMYB61 targets play roles in shaping subsets of AtMYB61-related phenotypes.
  • Taken together, these findings suggest that AtMYB61 links the transcriptional control of multiple aspects of plant resource allocation.