Repression of AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR10 by microRNA160 is critical for seed germination and post-germination stages

Plant J. 2007 Oct;52(1):133-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2007.03218.x. Epub 2007 Aug 2.


AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORS (ARFs) are transcription factors involved in auxin signal transduction during many stages of plant growth development. ARF10, ARF16 and ARF17 are targeted by microRNA160 (miR160) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we show that negative regulation of ARF10 by miR160 plays important roles in seed germination and post-germination. Transgenic plants expressing an miR160-resistant form of ARF10, which has silent mutations in the miRNA target site (termed mARF10), exhibited developmental defects such as serrated leaves, curled stems, contorted flowers and twisted siliques. These phenotypes were not observed in wild-type plants or plants transformed with the targeted ARF10 gene. During sensu stricto germination and post-germination, mARF10 mutant seeds and plants were hypersensitive to ABA in a dose-dependent manner. ABA hypersensitivity was mimicked in wild-type plants by exogenous auxin. In contrast, overexpression of MIR160 (35S:MIR160) resulted in reduced sensitivity to ABA during germination. Transcriptome analysis of germinating ARF10 and mARF10 seeds indicated that typical ABA-responsive genes expressed during seed maturation were overexpressed in germinating mARF10 seeds. These results indicate that negative regulation of ARF10 by miR160 plays a critical role in seed germination and post-embryonic developmental programs, at least in part by mechanisms involving interactions between ARF10-dependent auxin and ABA pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / physiology*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Germination / genetics*
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Mutation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Seeds / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • MicroRNAs
  • Abscisic Acid