J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2014, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (12): 1151-1163.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12217

• Plant-environmental Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Sulfur nutrient availability regulates root elongation by affecting root indole-3-acetic acid levels and the stem cell niche

Qing Zhao1, Yu Wu1, Lei Gao1, Jun Ma1, Chuan-You Li2 and Cheng-Bin Xiang1*   

  1. 1School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
    2Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • Received:2014-04-29 Accepted:2014-05-14 Published:2014-05-15
  • About author:*Correspondence: E-mail: xiangcb@ustc.edu.cn


Sulfur is an essential macronutrient for plants with numerous biological functions. However, the influence of sulfur nutrient availability on the regulation of root development remains largely unknown. Here, we report the response of Arabidopsis thaliana L. root development and growth to different levels of sulfate, demonstrating that low sulfate levels promote the primary root elongation. By using various reporter lines, we examined in vivo IAA level and distribution, cell division, and root meristem in response to different sulfate levels. Meanwhile the dynamic changes of in vivo cysteine, glutathione, and IAA levels were measured. Root cysteine, glutathione, and IAA levels are positively correlated with external sulfate levels in the physiological range, which eventually affect root system architecture. Low sulfate levels also downregulate the genes involved in auxin biosynthesis and transport, and elevate the accumulation of PLT1 and PLT2. This study suggests that sulfate level affects the primary root elongation by regulating the endogenous auxin level and root stem cell niche maintenance.


Zhao Q, Wu Y, Gao L, Ma J, Li CY, Xiang CB (2014) Sulfur nutrient availability regulates root elongation by affecting root Indole‐3‐acetic acid levels and the stem cell niche. J Integr Plant Biol 56: 1151–1163. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12217

Key words: Cysteine, indole-3-acetic acid, root system architecture, stem cell niche, sulfate

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