Reduced naphthylphthalamic acid binding in the tir3 mutant of Arabidopsis is associated with a reduction in polar auxin transport and diverse morphological defects

Plant Cell. 1997 May;9(5):745-57. doi: 10.1105/tpc.9.5.745.


Polar auxin transport plays a key role in the regulation of plant growth and development. To identify genes involved in this process, we have developed a genetic procedure to screen for mutants of Arabidopsis that are altered in their response to auxin transport inhibitors. We recovered a total of 16 independent mutants that defined seven genes, called TRANSPORT INHIBITOR RESPONSE (TIR) genes. Recessive mutations in one of these genes, TIR3, result in altered responses to transport inhibitors, a reduction in polar auxin transport, and a variety of morphological defects that can be ascribed to changes in indole-3-acetic acid distribution. Most dramatically, tir3 seedlings are strongly deficient in lateral root production, a process that is known to depend on polar auxin transport from the shoot into the root. In addition, tir3 plants display a reduction in apical dominance as well as decreased elongation of siliques, pedicels, roots, and the inflorescence. Biochemical studies indicate that tir3 plants have a reduced number of N-1-naphthylphthalamic (NPA) binding sites, suggesting that the TIR3 gene is required for expression, localization, or stabilization of the NPA binding protein (NBP). Alternatively, the TIR3 gene may encode the NBP. Because the tir3 mutants have a substantial defect in NPA binding, their phenotype provides genetic evidence for a role for the NBP in plant growth and development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Binding Sites
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Genes, Recessive*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Genetic Markers
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Mutagenesis
  • Phthalimides / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots
  • Plant Stems / physiology
  • Plant Stems / ultrastructure


  • Genetic Markers
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Phthalimides
  • alpha-naphthylphthalamic acid
  • indoleacetic acid
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate