Availability of the essential macronutrient nitrogen in soil plays a critical role in plant growth, development, and impacts agricultural productivity. Plants have evolved different strategies for sensing and responding to heterogeneous nitrogen distribution. Modulation of root system architecture, including primary root growth and branching, is among the most essential plant adaptions to ensure adequate nitrogen acquisition. However, the immediate molecular pathways coordinating the adjustment of root growth in response to distinct nitrogen sources, such as nitrate or ammonium, are poorly understood. Here, we show that growth as manifested by cell division and elongation is synchronized by coordinated auxin flux between two adjacent outer tissue layers of the root. This coordination is achieved by nitrate‐dependent dephosphorylation of the PIN2 auxin efflux carrier at a previously uncharacterized phosphorylation site, leading to subsequent PIN2 lateralization and thereby regulating auxin flow between adjacent tissues. A dynamic computer model based on our experimental data successfully recapitulates experimental observations. Our study provides mechanistic insights broadening our understanding of root growth mechanisms in dynamic environments.
We acknowledge Gergely Molnar for critical reading of the manuscript, Alexander Johnson for language editing and Yulija Salanenka for technical assistance. Work in the Benkova laboratory was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF01_I1774S) to KO, RA and EB. Work in the Benkova laboratory was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF01_I1774S) to KO, RA and EB and by the DOC Fellowship Programme of the AustrianAcademy of Sciences (25008) to C.A. Work in the Wabnik laboratory was supported by the Programa de Atraccion de Talento 2017 (Comunidad deMadrid, 2017-T1/BIO-5654 to K.W.), Severo Ochoa Programme for Centres of Excellence in R&D from the Agencia Estatal de Investigacion of Spain (grantSEV-2016-0672 (2017-2021) to K.W. via the CBGP) and Programa Estatal de Generacion del Conocimiento y Fortalecimiento Científico y Tecnologico del Sistema de I+D+I 2019 (PGC2018-093387-A-I00) from MICIU (to K.W.). M.M.was supported by a postdoctoral contract associated to SEV-2016-0672.We acknowledge the Bioimaging Facility in IST-Austria and the Advanced Microscopy Facility of the Vienna Bio Center Core Facilities, member of the Vienna Bio Center Austria, for use of the OMX v43D SIM microscope. AJ was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): I03630 to J.F
Ötvös K, Marconi M, Vega A, et al. Modulation of plant root growth by nitrogen source-defined regulation of polar auxin transport. EMBO Journal. 2021;40(3). doi:10.15252/embj.2020106862
Ötvös, K., Marconi, M., Vega, A., O’Brien, J., Johnson, A. J., Abualia, R., … Benková, E. (2021). Modulation of plant root growth by nitrogen source-defined regulation of polar auxin transport. EMBO Journal. Embo Press. https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.2020106862
Ötvös, Krisztina, Marco Marconi, Andrea Vega, Jose O’Brien, Alexander J Johnson, Rashed Abualia, Livio Antonielli, et al. “Modulation of Plant Root Growth by Nitrogen Source-Defined Regulation of Polar Auxin Transport.” EMBO Journal. Embo Press, 2021. https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.2020106862.
K. Ötvös et al., “Modulation of plant root growth by nitrogen source-defined regulation of polar auxin transport,” EMBO Journal, vol. 40, no. 3. Embo Press, 2021.
Ötvös K, Marconi M, Vega A, O’Brien J, Johnson AJ, Abualia R, Antonielli L, Montesinos López JC, Zhang Y, Tan S, Cuesta C, Artner C, Bouguyon E, Gojon A, Friml J, Gutiérrez RA, Wabnik KT, Benková E. 2021. Modulation of plant root growth by nitrogen source-defined regulation of polar auxin transport. EMBO Journal. 40(3), e106862.
Ötvös, Krisztina, et al. “Modulation of Plant Root Growth by Nitrogen Source-Defined Regulation of Polar Auxin Transport.” EMBO Journal, vol. 40, no. 3, e106862, Embo Press, 2021, doi:10.15252/embj.2020106862.
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