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Theoretical and experimental evidence indicates that there is no detectable auxin gradient in the angiosperm female gametophyte


Lituiev, Dmytro S; Krohn, Nádia G; Müller, Bruno; Jackson, David; Hellriegel, Barbara; Dresselhaus, Thomas; Grossniklaus, Ueli (2013). Theoretical and experimental evidence indicates that there is no detectable auxin gradient in the angiosperm female gametophyte. Development, 140(22):4544-4553.

Abstract

The plant life cycle alternates between a diploid sporophytic and a haploid gametophytic generation. The female gametophyte (FG) of flowering plants is typically formed through three syncytial mitoses, followed by cellularisation that forms seven cells belonging to four cell types. The specification of cell fates in the FG has been suggested to depend on positional information provided by an intrinsic auxin concentration gradient. The goal of this study was to develop mathematical models that explain the formation of this gradient in a syncytium. Two factors were proposed to contribute to the maintenance of the auxin gradient in Arabidopsis FGs: polar influx at early stages and localised auxin synthesis at later stages. However, no gradient could be generated using classical, one-dimensional theoretical models under these assumptions. Thus, we tested other hypotheses, including spatial confinement by the large central vacuole, background efflux and localised degradation, and investigated the robustness of cell specification under different parameters and assumptions. None of the models led to the generation of an auxin gradient that was steep enough to allow sufficiently robust patterning. This led us to re-examine the response to an auxin gradient in developing FGs using various auxin reporters, including a novel degron-based reporter system. In agreement with the predictions of our models, auxin responses were not detectable within the FG of Arabidopsis or maize, suggesting that the effects of manipulating auxin production and response on cell fate determination might be indirect.

Abstract

The plant life cycle alternates between a diploid sporophytic and a haploid gametophytic generation. The female gametophyte (FG) of flowering plants is typically formed through three syncytial mitoses, followed by cellularisation that forms seven cells belonging to four cell types. The specification of cell fates in the FG has been suggested to depend on positional information provided by an intrinsic auxin concentration gradient. The goal of this study was to develop mathematical models that explain the formation of this gradient in a syncytium. Two factors were proposed to contribute to the maintenance of the auxin gradient in Arabidopsis FGs: polar influx at early stages and localised auxin synthesis at later stages. However, no gradient could be generated using classical, one-dimensional theoretical models under these assumptions. Thus, we tested other hypotheses, including spatial confinement by the large central vacuole, background efflux and localised degradation, and investigated the robustness of cell specification under different parameters and assumptions. None of the models led to the generation of an auxin gradient that was steep enough to allow sufficiently robust patterning. This led us to re-examine the response to an auxin gradient in developing FGs using various auxin reporters, including a novel degron-based reporter system. In agreement with the predictions of our models, auxin responses were not detectable within the FG of Arabidopsis or maize, suggesting that the effects of manipulating auxin production and response on cell fate determination might be indirect.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:06 Feb 2014 14:14
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 08:32
Publisher:Company of Biologists
ISSN:0950-1991
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.098301
PubMed ID:24194471

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