The role of auxin as main regulator of vascular differentiation is well established, and a direct correlation between the rate of xylem differentiation and the amount of auxin reaching the (pro)cambial cells has been proposed. It has been suggested that thermospermine produced by ACAULIS5 (ACL5) and bushy and dwarf2 (BUD2) is one of the factors downstream to auxin contributing to the regulation of this process in Arabidopsis. Here, we provide an in-depth characterization of the mechanism through which ACL5 modulates xylem differentiation. We show that an increased level of ACL5 slows down xylem differentiation by negatively affecting the expression of homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-ZIP) III and key auxin signaling genes. This mechanism involves the positive regulation of thermospermine biosynthesis by the HD-ZIP III protein Arabidopsis thaliana homeobox8 tightly controlling the expression of ACL5 and BUD2. In addition, we show that the HD-ZIP III protein REVOLUTA contributes to the increased leaf vascularization and long hypocotyl phenotype of acl5 likely by a direct regulation of auxin signaling genes such as like auxin resistant2 (LAX2) and LAX3. We propose that proper formation and differentiation of xylem depend on a balance between positive and negative feedback loops operating through HD-ZIP III genes.
Keywords: Arabidopsis.; autoregulation; auxin; auxin influx transporters; procambium; thermospermine.
© The Author 2014. Published by the Molecular Plant Shanghai Editorial Office in association with Oxford University Press on behalf of CSPB and IPPE, SIBS, CAS.