Cryptic variation in RNA-directed DNA-methylation controls lateral root development when auxin signaling is perturbed

Shahzad, Z., Eaglesfield, R., Carr, C. and Amtmann, A. (2020) Cryptic variation in RNA-directed DNA-methylation controls lateral root development when auxin signaling is perturbed. Nature Communications, 11, 218. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13927-3) (PMID:31924796) (PMCID:PMC6954204)

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Abstract

Maintaining the right balance between plasticity and robustness in biological systems is important to allow adaptation while maintaining essential functions. Developmental plasticity of plant root systems has been the subject of intensive research, but the mechanisms underpinning robustness remain unclear. Here, we show that potassium deficiency inhibits lateral root organogenesis by delaying early stages in the formation of lateral root primordia. However, the severity of the symptoms arising from this perturbation varies within a natural population of Arabidopsis and is associated with the genetic variation in CLSY1, a key component of the RNA-directed DNA-methylation machinery. Mechanistically, CLSY1 mediates the transcriptional repression of a negative regulator of root branching, IAA27, and promotes lateral root development when the auxin-dependent proteolysis pathway fails. Our study identifies DNA-methylation-mediated transcriptional repression as a backup system for post-translational protein degradation which ensures robust development and performance of plants in a challenging environment.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carr, Mr Craig and Amtmann, Professor Anna and Shahzad, Zaigham and Eaglesfield, Mr Ross
Authors: Shahzad, Z., Eaglesfield, R., Carr, C., and Amtmann, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Published Online:10 January 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 11:218
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
172739Perception and integration of nutritional signals in plant root systems: Solving the mystery of K-Fe-P interactions.Anna AmtmannBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/N018508/1MCSB - Plant Sciences
302195Combining chemical priming and quantitative genetics to increase salt tolerance of soybeanAnna AmtmannBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/R019894/1Institute of Molecular, Cell & Systems Biology