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Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Publication details for Prof Keith Lindsey

Casson, S.A., Chilley, P., Topping, J.F., Evans, I.M., Souter, M. & Lindsey, K. (2002). The POLARIS gene of Arabidopsis encodes a predicted peptide required for correct root growth and leaf vascular patterning. Plant Cell 14(8): 1705-1721.

Author(s) from Durham


The POLARIS (PLS) gene of Arabidopsis was identified as a promoter trap transgenic line, showing -glucuronidase fusion gene expression predominantly in the embryonic and seedling root, with low expression in aerial parts. Cloning of the PLS locus revealed that the promoter trap T-DNA had inserted into a short open reading frame (ORF). Rapid amplification of cDNA ends PCR, RNA gel blot analysis, and RNase protection assays showed that the PLS ORF is located within a short (500 nucleotides) auxin-inducible transcript and encodes a predicted polypeptide of 36 amino acid residues. pls mutants exhibit a short-root phenotype and reduced vascularization of leaves. pls roots are hyperresponsive to exogenous cytokinins and show increased expression of the cytokinin-inducible gene ARR5/IBC6 compared with the wild type. pls seedlings also are less responsive to the growth-inhibitory effects of exogenous auxin and show reduced expression of the auxin-inducible gene IAA1 compared with the wild type. The PLS peptide-encoding region of the cDNA partially complements the pls mutation and requires the PLS ORF ATG for activity, demonstrating the functionality of the peptide-encoding ORF. Ectopic expression of the PLS ORF reduces root growth inhibition by exogenous cytokinins and increases leaf vascularization. We propose that PLS is required for correct auxin-cytokinin homeostasis to modulate root growth and leaf vascular patterning.