Discovering the mechanism of root regeneration — ScienceDaily

The molecular mechanism behind root regeneration after root cutting in plants has been discovered. A discovery that could lead to the development of new methods of regulating plant growth in agriculture and horticulture.

The root system of a plant is highly regenerative. It plays a vital role in absorbing water and nutrients from the soil and therefore its loss can pose an immediate threat to their lives. The plasticity of the root system also helps plants adapt to adverse conditions such as drought. An agricultural technique called root pruning, or root cutting, uses this natural hardiness to control plant growth. It has also been used in horticulture to control the size and vigor of plants, as seen in Bonsai.

Previous studies have suggested that root regeneration occurs through the induction of lateral root (LR) formation and that auxin, a well-studied growth hormone implicated in various plant development processes, plays a role in the process. However, the molecular mechanism behind root regeneration has remained largely unknown.

According to a new study published in Plant and cell physiologyscientists have identified for the first time that YUCCA9, one of the eleven YUCCA genes involved in auxin synthesis, plays a key role in root system regeneration.

Using Arabidopsis As a model, the research team led by Associate Professor Masaaki Watahiki of Hokkaido University found that root cutting induces both LR formation and the growth of existing roots. Gene expression experiments and the use of mutants identified YUCCA9 as the main gene responsible for auxin biosynthesis during root system regeneration after root cutting. Working with Professor Masashi Asahina from Teikyo University, the team also found an obvious increase in auxin level after cutting.

Auxin typically exhibits uneven distribution in plant bodies due to polar transport, resulting in gravity- or light-induced plant bending. The team found that the polar transport system is also necessary for root regeneration.

Interestingly, the team revealed that defective LRs of some auxin signaling mutants can be rescued by root cutting, suggesting the robustness of root cutting-induced auxin signaling. They also showed redundancy of auxin biosynthesis genes by mutant analysis.

“We have identified the main gene for auxin biosynthesis that is responsible for root regeneration in the event of root damage. This discovery could lead to the development of new methods to suppress or improve root regeneration, and thus control plant growth in agriculture and horticulture,” says Masaaki Watahiki. .

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Material provided by Hokkaido University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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