Nilsson O, Crozier A, Schmulling T, Sandberg G, Olsson O
Indole- 3- Acetic- Acid Homeostasis in Transgenic Tobacco Plants Expressing the Agrobacterium- Rhizogenes Rolb Gene
Plant Journal: 1993 3:681-689
The roIB gene of the plant pathogen Agrobacterium rhizogenes has an important role in the establishment of hairy root disease in infected plant tissues. When expressed as a single gene in transgenic plants the RoIB protein gives rise to effects indicative of increased auxin activity. It has been reported that the RoIB product is a beta-glucosidase and proposed that the physiological and developmental alterations in transgenic plants expressing the roIB gene are the result of this enzyme hydrolysing bound auxins, in particular (indole-3-acetyl)-beta-D-glucoside (IAGluc), and thereby bringing about an increase in the intracellular concentration of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Using tobacco plants as a test system, this proposal has been investigated in detail. Comparisons have been made between the RoIB phenotype and that of iaaM/iaaH transformed plants overproducing IAA. In addition, the levels of IAA and IAA amide and IAA ester conjugates were determined in wild-type and transgenic 35S-roIB tobacco plants and metabolic studies were carried out with [C-13(6)]IAA, [2'-C-14]IAA, [C-14]IAGluc, [5-H-3]-2-O-(indole-3-acetyl)myo-inositol and [C-14]indole-3-acetylaspartic acid. The data obtained demonstrate that expression of the roIB encoded protein in transgenic tobacco does not produce a phenotype that resembles that of IAA over-producing plants, does not alter the size of the free IAA pool, has no significant effect on the rate of IAA metabolism, and, by implication, appears not to influence the overall rate of IAA biosynthesis. Furthermore, the in vivo hydrolysis of IAGluc, and that of the other IAA conjugates that were tested, is not affected. On the basis of these findings, it is concluded that the RoIB phenotype is not the consequence of an increase in the size of the free IAA pool mediated by an enhanced rate of hydrolysis of IAA conjugates.
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