Indexed on: 05 Dec '08Published on: 05 Dec '08Published in: Planta
Classic plant tissue culture experiments have shown that exposure of cell culture to a high auxin to cytokinin ratio promotes root formation and a low auxin to cytokinin ratio leads to shoot regeneration. It has been widely accepted that auxin and cytokinin play an antagonistic role in the control of organ identities during organogenesis in vitro. Since the auxin level is highly elevated in the shoot meristem tissues, it is unclear how a low auxin to cytokinin ratio promotes the regeneration of shoots. To identify genes mediating the cytokinin and auxin interaction during organogenesis in vitro, three allelic mutants that display root instead of shoot regeneration in response to a low auxin to cytokinin ratio are identified using a forward genetic approach in Arabidopsis. Molecular characterization shows that the mutations disrupt the AUX1 gene, which has been reported to regulate auxin influx in plants. Meanwhile, we find that cytokinin substantially stimulates auxin accumulation and redistribution in calli and some specific tissues of Arabidopsis seedlings. In the aux1 mutants, the cytokinin regulated auxin accumulation and redistribution is substantially reduced in both calli and specific tissues of young seedlings. Our results suggest that auxin elevation and other changes stimulated by cytokinin, instead of low auxin or exogenous auxin directly applied, is essential for shoot regeneration.