Root organogenesis involves cell division, differentiation and expansion. The molecular mechanisms regulating root development are not fully understood. In this study, we identified poly(adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribose) polymerases (PARPs) as new players in root development. PARP catalyzes poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of proteins by repeatedly adding ADP-ribose units onto proteins using nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+ ) as the donor. We found that inhibition of PARP activities by 3-aminobenzomide (3-AB) increased the growth rates of both primary and lateral roots, leading to a more developed root system. The double mutant of Arabidopsis PARPs, parp1parp2, showed more rapid primary and lateral root growth. Cyclin genes regulating G1-to-S and G2-to-M transition were up-regulated upon treatment by 3-AB. The proportion of 2C cells increased while cells with higher DNA ploidy declined in the roots of treated plants, resulting in an enlarged root meristematic zone. The expression level of PARP2 was very low in the meristematic zone but high in the maturation zone, consistent with a role of PARP in inhibiting mitosis and promoting cell differentiation. Our results suggest that PARPs play an important role in root development by negatively regulating root cell division.
© 2017 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.