Spatiotemporal changes in the role of cytokinin during root development

Authors

  • Marta Del Bianco,

    1. Laboratory of Functional Genomics and Proteomics of Model Systems, Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie, Università di Roma, Rome, Italy
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  • Leonardo Giustini,

    1. Laboratory of Functional Genomics and Proteomics of Model Systems, Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie, Università di Roma, Rome, Italy
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  • Sabrina Sabatini

    Corresponding author
    • Laboratory of Functional Genomics and Proteomics of Model Systems, Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie, Università di Roma, Rome, Italy
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Author for correspondence:

Sabrina Sabatini

Tel: +39 06 49917916

Email: sabrina.sabatini@uniroma1.it

Abstract

Summary

The root is a dynamic system whose structure is regulated by a complex network of interactions between hormones. The primary root meristem is specified in the embryo. After germination, the primary root meristem grows and then reaches a final size that will be maintained during the life of the plant. Subsequently, secondary structures such as lateral roots and root nodules form via the re-specification of differentiated cells. Cytokinin plays key roles in the regulation of root development. Down-regulation of the cytokinin response is required for the specification of a new stem cell niche, during both embryo and lateral root development. In the root meristem, cytokinin signalling regulates the longitudinal zonation of the meristem by controlling cell differentiation. Moreover, cytokinin regulates radial patterning of root vasculature by promoting protophloem cell identity and by spatially inhibiting protoxylem formation. In this review, an effort is made to describe the known details of the role of cytokinin during root development, taking into account also the interactions between cytokinin and other hormones. Attention is given on the dynamicity of cytokinin signalling output during different developmental events. Indeed, there is much evidence that the effects of cytokinin change as organs grow, underlining the importance of the spatiotemporal specificity of cytokinin signalling.

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