The Peach RGF/GLV Signaling Peptide pCTG134 Is Involved in a Regulatory Circuit That Sustains Auxin and Ethylene Actions

Front Plant Sci. 2017 Oct 11:8:1711. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01711. eCollection 2017.


In vascular plants the cell-to-cell interactions coordinating morphogenetic and physiological processes are mediated, among others, by the action of hormones, among which also short mobile peptides were recognized to have roles as signals. Such peptide hormones (PHs) are involved in defense responses, shoot and root growth, meristem homeostasis, organ abscission, nutrient signaling, hormone crosstalk and other developmental processes and act as both short and long distant ligands. In this work, the function of CTG134, a peach gene encoding a ROOT GROWTH FACTOR/GOLVEN-like PH expressed in mesocarp at the onset of ripening, was investigated for its role in mediating an auxin-ethylene crosstalk. In peach fruit, where an auxin-ethylene crosstalk mechanism is necessary to support climacteric ethylene synthesis, CTG134 expression peaked before that of ACS1 and was induced by auxin and 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatments, whereas it was minimally affected by ethylene. In addition, the promoter of CTG134 fused with the GUS reporter highlighted activity in plant parts in which the auxin-ethylene interplay is known to occur. Arabidopsis and tobacco plants overexpressing CTG134 showed abnormal root hair growth, similar to wild-type plants treated with a synthetic form of the sulfated peptide. Moreover, in tobacco, lateral root emergence and capsule size were also affected. In Arabidopsis overexpressing lines, molecular surveys demonstrated an impaired hormonal crosstalk, resulting in a re-modulated expression of a set of genes involved in both ethylene and auxin synthesis, transport and perception. These data support the role of pCTG134 as a mediator in an auxin-ethylene regulatory circuit and open the possibility to exploit this class of ligands for the rational design of new and environmental friendly agrochemicals able to cope with a rapidly changing environment.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; CLE-LIKE (CLEL); GOLVEN (GLV); Nicotiana tabacum; Prunus persica; ROOT GROWTH FACTOR (RGF); fruit ripening; peptide hormone.