Arabidopsis ARR4/ATRR1/IBC7 and ARR8/ATRR3 are homologous genes of prokaryotic response regulators that are involved in the His-Asp phosphorelay signal transduction. We analyzed the function of these genes as response regulators using transgenic plants. Overexpression of ARR4 in cultured stems of the transgenics markedly promoted shoot formation in the presence of cytokinin, while overexpression of ARR8 repressed shoot formation and greening of calli. The expression level of cytokinin-inducible genes, cycD3 and cab increased in the ARR4 overexpressor but decreased in the ARR8 overexpressor. By contrast, two drought stress-inducible genes, rd29A and erd1, were expressed in both overexpressors as that in control plants. These results suggest that ARR4 and ARR8 are involved in cytokinin signal transduction, and that ARR4 functions as a positive-regulator, whereas ARR8 functions as a negative-regulator. Furthermore, microarray analysis showed that several genes were up-regulated in the ARR4 overexpressor. Consistent with these results, ARR4 and ARR8 might play important roles in the sensoring system of cytokinin signal transduction pathway in various developmental and environmental conditions and the regulation of gene expression.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).