J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2015, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (2): 186-197.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12213

• Plant-environmental Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

L-Cysteine inhibits root elongation through auxin/PLETHORA and SCR/SHR pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana

Zhen Wang1,2†, Jie-Li Mao1†, Ying-Jun Zhao1, Chuan-You Li3 and Cheng-Bin Xiang1*   

  1. 1School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
    2Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
    3Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • Received:2014-04-27 Accepted:2014-05-04 Published:2014-05-05
  • About author:These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence: E-mail: xiangcb@ustc.edu.cn


L-Cysteine plays a prominent role in sulfur metabolism of plants. However, its role in root development is largely unknown. Here, we report that L-cysteine reduces primary root growth in a dosage-dependent manner. Elevating cellular L-cysteine level by exposing Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings to high L-cysteine, buthionine sulphoximine, or O-acetylserine leads to altered auxin maximum in root tips, the expression of quiescent center cell marker as well as the decrease of the auxin carriers PIN1, PIN2, PIN3, and PIN7 of primary roots. We also show that high L-cysteine significantly reduces the protein level of two sets of stem cell specific transcription factors PLETHORA1/2 and SCR/SHR. However, L-cysteine does not downregulate the transcript level of PINs, PLTs, or SCR/SHR, suggesting that an uncharacterized post-transcriptional mechanism may regulate the accumulation of PIN, PLT, and SCR/SHR proteins and auxin transport in the root tips. These results suggest that endogenous L-cysteine level acts to maintain root stem cell niche by regulating basal- and auxin-induced expression of PLT1/2 and SCR/SHR. L-Cysteine may serve as a link between sulfate assimilation and auxin in regulating root growth.


Wang Z, Mao JL, Zhao YJ, Li CY, Xiang CB (2015) L‐Cysteine inhibits root elongation through auxin/PLETHORA and SCR/SHR pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana. J Integr Plant Biol 57: 186–197 doi: 10.1111/jipb.12213

Key words: Auxin, L-cysteine, PIN, PLETHORA, root stem cell, root system architecture

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