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A Mutation in the bHLH Domain of the SPCH Transcription Factor Uncovers a BR-Dependent Mechanism for Stomatal Development(1)

Authors
  • de Marcos, Alberto
  • Houbaert, Anaxi
  • Triviño, Magdalena
  • Delgado, Dolores
  • Martín-Trillo, Mar
  • Russinova, Eugenia
  • Fenoll, Carmen
  • Mena, Montaña
Publication Date
May 15, 2017
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
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Abstract

The asymmetric cell divisions necessary for stomatal lineage initiation and progression in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) require the function of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor SPEECHLESS (SPCH). Mutants lacking SPCH do not produce stomata or lineages. Here, we isolated a new spch-5 allele carrying a point mutation in the bHLH domain that displayed normal growth, but had an extremely low number of sometimes clustered stomata in the leaves, whereas the hypocotyls did not have any stomata. In vivo tracking of leaf epidermal cell divisions, combined with marker lines and genetic analysis, showed that the spch-5 leaf phenotype is dosage dependent and results from the decreased ability to initiate and amplify lineages, defects in asymmetric cell fate allocation, and misorientation of asymmetric division planes. Notably, application of brassinosteroids (BRs) partly rescued the stomatal leaf phenotype of spch-5. Transcriptomic analysis combining spch-5 with BR treatments revealed that the expression of a set of SPCH target genes was restored by BRs. Our results also show that BR-dependent stomata formation and expression of some, but not all, SPCH target genes require the integrity of the bHLH domain of SPCH.

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