Plant growth depends on a root system that anchors plant in the soil and functions as an entry site for water and essential nutrients. Development of the root system is a post-embryonic process during which a highly branched network of lateral roots forms.
In many dicot plants lateral roots arise from a dedicated cell file of the main root called pericycle. Initiation of lateral roots requires the phytohormone auxin that first triggers critical asymmetric cell divisions in the pericycle then acts as an instructive signal for lateral root growth and development.
While recent works have provided a large body of information concerning the role of auxin signaling and identified elements of the signaling pathway, our knowledge of the mechanism acting downstream of the auxin signal is still limited. In particular, we have just begun to understand the mechanism controlling the first critical formative pericycle divisions.

Laszlo Bako 1150

We have been studying lateral root initiation in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and identified a novel molecular mechanism that appears to regulate asymmetric pericycle cell divisions. Main components of this mechanism are the RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED PROTEIN1 (RBR1) and the ATP-dependent chromatin remodeler PICKLE (PKL) that associates with RBR1. The RBR1-PKL complex negatively regulates expression of certain LDB genes whose activity is required for asymmetric pericycle cell division and lateral root initiation.
We are using biochemical, genetic and cell biology methods to elaborate on this repressor function and better understand the molecular mechanism which directs the RBR1-PKL complex to target loci, to dissect the subunit structure of the holocomplex and to elucidate how auxin signaling dissociate the complex. In ChIP-seq experiments we address the question whether the RBR1-PKL complex plays roles in other plant developmental processes.

bako_1 bako_2
Expression of RBR-RFP fusion protein in Arabidopsis root after treatment with 2,4-D (left) or NAA (right).

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Publications list

  1. LEAFY activity is post-transcriptionally regulated by BLADE ON PETIOLE2 and CULLIN3 in Arabidopsis
    New Phytol. 2018, 220(2):579-592
  2. Transcriptional landscapes of Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)
    Dev Biol. 2018, 433(2):227-239
  3. BLADE-ON-PETIOLE proteins act in an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex to regulate PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 4 abundance
    Elife. 2017, e26759
  4. XYLEM NAC DOMAIN1, an angiosperm NAC transcription factor, inhibits xylem differentiation through conserved motifs that interact with RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED
    New Phytol. 2017,  216 (1):76-89
  5. The Role of microRNAs in Animal Cell Reprogramming
    STEM CELLS AND DEVELOPMENT 2016, 25(14):1035-1049
  6. ABCG9, ABCG11 and ABCG14 ABC transporters are required for vascular development in Arabidopsis
    The Plant Journal, 2013; 76(5):811-824
  7. Burén S, Ortega-Villasante C, Otvös K, Samuelsson G, Bakó L, Villarejo A
    Use of the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus 2A Peptide Co-Expression System to Study Intracellular Protein Trafficking in Arabidopsis
    PLoS One 2012;7(12):e51973
  8. Cruz-Ramírez A, Díaz-Triviño S, Blilou I, Grieneisen VA, Sozzani R, Zamioudis C, Miskolczi P, Nieuwland J, Benjamins R, Dhonukshe P, Caballero-Pérez J, Horvath B, Long Y, Mähönen AP, Zhang H, Xu J, Murray JA, Benfey PN, Bako L, Marée AF, Scheres B
    A bistable circuit involving SCARECROW-RETINOBLASTOMA integrates cues to inform asymmetric stem cell division
    Cell 2012; 150(5):1002-1015
  9. Shaikhali J, Barajas-Lopéz J, Ötvös K, Kremnev D, Sánchez Garcia A, Srivastava V, Wingsle G, Bako L, Strand Å
    The CRYPTOCHROME1-dependent response to excess light is mediated through the transcriptional activators ZINC FINGER PROTEIN EXPRESSED IN INFLORESCENCE MERISTEM LIKE1 and 2 in Arabidopsis
    Plant Cell, 2012, 24(7):3009-25
  10. Magyar Z, Horváth B, Khan S, Mohammed B, Henriques R, De Veylder L, Bakó L, Scheres B, Bögre L
    Arabidopsis E2FA stimulates proliferation and endocycle separately through RBR-bound and RBR-free complexes
    EMBO J. 2012, 31(6):1480-93
  11. Karlberg A, Bako L, Bhalerao RP
    Short Day-Mediated Cessation of Growth Requires the Downregulation of AINTEGUMENTALIKE1 Transcription Factor in Hybrid Aspen
    PLoS Genet. 2011 Nov;7(11): Epub 2011 Nov 3.
  12. Burén S, Ortega-Villasante C, Blanco-Rivero A, Martinez-Bernardini A, Shutova T, Shevela D, Messinger J, Bako L, Villarejo A, Samuelsson G
    Importance of Post-Translational Modifications for Functionality of a Chloroplast-Localized Carbonic Anhydrase (CAH1) in Arabidopsis thaliana
    PLoS one: 2011 6:e21021
  13. Abraham E, Miskolczi P, Ayaydin F, Yu P, Kotogany E, Bako L, Otvos K, Horvath GV, Dudits D
    Immunodetection of retinoblastoma-related protein and its phosphorylated form in interphase and mitotic alfalfa cells
    Journal of Experimental Botany: 2011 62:2155-2168
  14. Johansson M, McWatters HG, Bakó L, Takata N, Gyula P, Hall A, Somers DE, Millar AJ, Eriksson ME
    Partners in time: EARLY BIRD associates with ZEITLUPE and regulates the speed of the Arabidopsis clock
    Plant Physiology: 2011 155:2108-2122
  15. Baba K, Karlberg A, Schmidt J, Schrader J, Hvidsten TR, Bako L, Bhalerao RP
    Activity-dormancy transition in the cambial meristem involves stage-specific modulation of auxin response in hybrid aspen
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: 2011 108:3418-3423
  16. Karlberg A, Englund M, Petterle A, Molnar G, Sjödin A, Bako L, Bhalerao RP
    Analysis of global changes in gene expression during activity-dormancy cycle in hybrid aspen apex
    Plant Biotechnology: 2010 27:1-16
  17. Horvath BM, Magyar Z, Zhang YX, Hamburger AW, Bako L, Visser RG, Bachem CW, Bogre L
    EBP1 regulates organ size through cell growth and proliferation in plants
    Embo Journal: 2006 25:4909-4920

  18. Pettko-Szandtner A, Meszaros T, Horvath GV, Bako L, Csordas-Toth E, Blastyak A, Zhiponova M, Miskolczi P, Dudits D
    Activation of an alfalfa cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor by calmodulin-like domain protein kinase
    Plant Journal: 2006 46:111-123
  19. Villarejo A, Buren S, Larsson S, Dejardin A, Monne M, Rudhe C, Karlsson J, Jansson S, Lerouge P, Rollands N, von Heijne G, Grebe M, Bako L, Samuelsson G
    Evidence for a protein transported through the secretory pathway en route to the higher plant chloroplast
    Nature Cell Biology: 2005 7:1224-1231
  20. Meszaros T, Miskolczi P, Ayaydin F, Pettko-Szandtner A, Peres A, Magyar Z, Horvath GV, Bako L, Feher A, Dudits D
    Multiple cyclin-dependent kinase complexes and phosphatases control G(2)/M progression in alfalfa cells
    Plant Molecular Biology: 2000 43:595-605
  21. Bhalerao RP, Salchert K, Bako L, Okresz L, Szabados L, Muranaka T, Machida Y, Schell J, Koncz C
    Regulatory interaction of PRL1 WD protein with Arabidopsis SNF1-like protein kinases
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: 1999 96:5322-5327
  22. Nemeth K, Salchert K, Putnoky P, Bhalerao R, Koncz-Kalman Z, Stankovic-Stangeland B, Bako L, Mathur J, Okresz L, Stabel S, Geigenberger P, Stitt M, Redei GP, Schell J, Koncz C
    Pleiotropic control of glucose and hormone responses by PRL1, a nuclear WD protein, in Arabidopsis
    Genes & Development: 1998 12:3059-3073
  23. Reindl A, Schoffl F, Schell J, Koncz C, Bako L
    Phosphorylation by a cyclin-dependent kinase modulates DNA binding of the Arabidopsis heat-shock transcription factor HSF1 in vitro
    Plant Physiology: 1997 115:93-100