Abiotic stress poses constant challenges for plant survival and is a serious problem for global agricultural productivity. On a molecular level, stress conditions result in elevation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production causing oxidative stress associated with oxidation of proteins and nucleic acids as well as impairment of membrane functions. Adaptation of root growth to ROS accumulation is facilitated through modification of auxin and cytokinin hormone homeostasis. Here, we report that in Arabidopsis root meristem, ROS-induced changes of auxin levels correspond to decreased abundance of PIN auxin efflux carriers at the plasma membrane (PM). Specifically, increase in H2O2 levels affects PIN2 endocytic recycling. We show that the PIN2 intracellular trafficking during adaptation to oxidative stress requires the function of the ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF)-guanine-nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) BEN1, an actin-associated regulator of the trafficking from the PM to early endosomes and, presumably, indirectly, trafficking to the vacuoles. We propose that H2O2 levels affect the actin dynamics thus modulating ARF-GEF-dependent trafficking of PIN2. This mechanism provides a way how root growth acclimates to stress and adapts to a changing environment.
Keywords: Adaptation; Auxin transport; Cytoskeleton; Hydrogen peroxide; Root apical meristem; Trafficking.
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