TCP15 modulates cytokinin and auxin responses during gynoecium development in Arabidopsis

Plant J. 2015 Oct;84(2):267-82. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12992.


We studied the role of Arabidopsis thaliana TCP15, a member of the TEOSINTE BRANCHED1-CYCLOIDEA-PCF (TCP) transcription factor family, in gynoecium development. Plants that express TCP15 from the 35S CaMV promoter (35S:TCP15) develop flowers with defects in carpel fusion and a reduced number of stigmatic papillae. In contrast, the expression of TCP15 fused to a repressor domain from its own promoter causes the development of outgrowths topped with stigmatic papillae from the replum. 35S:TCP15 plants show lower levels of the auxin indoleacetic acid and reduced expression of the auxin reporter DR5 and the auxin biosynthesis genes YUCCA1 and YUCCA4, suggesting that TCP15 is a repressor of auxin biosynthesis. Treatment of plants with cytokinin enhances the developmental effects of expressing TCP15 or its repressor form. In addition, treatment of a knock-out double mutant in TCP15 and the related gene TCP14 with cytokinin causes replum enlargement, increased development of outgrowths, and the induction of the auxin biosynthesis genes YUCCA1 and YUCCA4. A comparison of the phenotypes observed after cytokinin treatment of plants with altered expression levels of TCP15 and auxin biosynthesis genes suggests that TCP15 modulates gynoecium development by influencing auxin homeostasis. We propose that the correct development of the different tissues of the gynoecium requires a balance between auxin levels and cytokinin responses, and that TCP15 participates in a feedback loop that helps to adjust this balance.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; TCP transcription factor; auxin; cytokinin; gynoecium; replum; stigma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytokinins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cytokinins
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • TCP15 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Transcription Factors