Contesto C, Milesi S, Mantelin S, Zancarini A, Desbrosses G, Varoquaux F, Bellini C, Kowalczyk M, Touraine B
The auxin-signaling pathway is required for the lateral root response of Arabidopsis to the rhizobacterium Phyllobacterium brassicacearum
Planta: 2010 232:1455-1470

Plant root development is highly responsive both to changes in nitrate availability and beneficial microorganisms in the rhizosphere. We previously showed that Phyllobacterium brassicacearum STM196, a plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria strain isolated from rapeseed roots, alleviates the inhibition exerted by high nitrate supply on lateral root growth. Since soil-borne bacteria can produce IAA and since this plant hormone may be implicated in the high nitrate-dependent control of lateral root development, we investigated its role in the root development response of Arabidopsis thaliana to STM196. Inoculation with STM196 resulted in a 50% increase of lateral root growth in Arabidopsis wild-type seedlings. This effect was completely abolished in aux1 and axr1 mutants, altered in IAA transport and signaling, respectively, indicating that these pathways are required. The STM196 strain, however, appeared to be a very low IAA producer when compared with the high-IAA-producing Azospirillum brasilense sp245 strain and its low-IAA-producing ipdc mutant. Consistent with the hypothesis that STM196 does not release significant amounts of IAA to the host roots, inoculation with this strain failed to increase root IAA content. Inoculation with STM196 led to increased expression levels of several IAA biosynthesis genes in shoots, increased Trp concentration in shoots, and increased auxin-dependent GUS staining in the root apices of DR5::GUS transgenic plants. All together, our results suggest that STM196 inoculation triggers changes in IAA distribution and homeostasis independently from IAA release by the bacteria.

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