Background: Arabidopsis root growth is stimulated by Piriformospora indica, phosphate limitation and inactivation of the WRKY6 transcription factor. Combinations of these factors induce unexpected alterations in root and shoot growth, root architecture and root gene expression profiles.
Results: The results demonstrate that P. indica promotes phosphate uptake and root development under Pi limitation in wrky6 mutant. This is associated with the stimulation of PHOSPHATE1 expression and ethylene production. Expression profiles from the roots of wrky6 seedlings identified genes involved in hormone metabolism, transport, meristem, cell and plastid proliferation, and growth regulation. 25 miRNAs were also up-regulated in these roots. We generated and discuss here a list of common genes which are regulated in growing roots and which are common to all three growth stimuli investigated in this study.
Conclusion: Since root development of wrky6 plants exposed to P. indica under phosphate limitation is strongly promoted, we propose that common genes which respond to all three growth stimuli are central for the control of root growth and architecture. They can be tested for optimizing root growth in model and agricultural plants.