Root Cap-Derived Auxin Pre-patterns the Longitudinal Axis of the Arabidopsis Root

Curr Biol. 2015 May 18;25(10):1381-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.03.046. Epub 2015 May 7.


During the exploration of the soil by plant roots, uptake of water and nutrients can be greatly fostered by a regular spacing of lateral roots (LRs). In the Arabidopsis root, a regular branching pattern depends on oscillatory gene activity to create prebranch sites, patches of cells competent to form LRs. Thus far, the molecular components regulating the oscillations still remain unclear. Here, we show that a local auxin source in the root cap, derived from the auxin precursor indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), modulates the oscillation amplitude, which in turn determines whether a prebranch site is created or not. Moreover, transcriptome profiling identified novel and IBA-regulated components of root patterning, such as the MEMBRANE-ASSOCIATED KINASE REGULATOR4 (MAKR4) that converts the prebranch sites into a regular spacing of lateral organs. Thus, the spatiotemporal patterning of roots is fine-tuned by the root cap-specific conversion pathway of IBA to auxin and the subsequent induction of MAKR4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Body Patterning
  • F-Box Proteins / genetics
  • F-Box Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism*
  • Indoles / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Plant Roots / growth & development*
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism


  • AFB2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • F-Box Proteins
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Indoles
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • TIR1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • indolebutyric acid
  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase
  • IBR3 protein, Arabidopsis