Indexed on: 08 Jun '11Published on: 08 Jun '11Published in: The Plant Journal
The phytohormones cytokinin and auxin regulate a diverse array of plant processes, often acting together to modulate growth and development. Although much has been learned with regard to how each of these hormones act individually, we are just beginning to understand how these signals interact to achieve an integrated response. Previous studies indicated that exogenous cytokinin has an effect on the transcription of several PIN efflux carriers. Here we show that disruption of type-A Arabidopsis response regulators (ARRs), which are negative regulators of cytokinin signalling, alters the levels of PIN proteins and results in increased sensitivity to N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid, an inhibitor of polar auxin transport. Disruption of eight of the 10 type-A ARR genes affects root development by altering the size of the apical meristem. Furthermore, we show that the effect of cytokinin on PIN abundance occurs primarily at the post-transcriptional level. Alterations of PIN levels in the type-A ARR mutants result in changes in the distribution of auxin in root tips as measured by a DR5::GFP reporter, and an altered pattern of cell division and differentiation in the stem cell niche in the root apical meristem. Together, these data indicate that cytokinin, acting through the type-A ARRs, alters the level of several PIN efflux carriers, and thus regulates the distribution of auxin within the root tip.