An auxin transport-based model of root branching in Arabidopsis thaliana

Mikaël Lucas 1, 2, 3 Yann Guédon 3, 2 Christian Jay-Allemand 1 Christophe Godin 2, 3 Laurent Laplaze 1
3 VIRTUAL PLANTS - Modeling plant morphogenesis at different scales, from genes to phenotype
UMR AGAP - Amélioration génétique et adaptation des plantes méditerranéennes et tropicales, INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, CRISAM - Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée
Abstract : Root architecture is a crucial part of plant adaptation to soil heterogeneity and is mainly controlled by root branching. The process of root system development can be divided into two successive steps: lateral root initiation and lateral root development/emergence which are controlled by different fluxes of the plant hormone auxin. While shoot architecture appears to be highly regular, following rules such as the phyllotactic spiral, root architecture appears more chaotic. We used stochastic modeling to extract hidden rules regulating root branching in Arabidopsis thaliana. These rules were used to build an integrative mechanistic model of root ramification based on auxin. This model was experimentally tested using plants with modified rhythm of lateral root initiation or mutants perturbed in auxin transport. Our analysis revealed that lateral root initiation and lateral root development/emergence are interacting with each other to create a global balance between the respective ratio of initiation and emergence. A mechanistic model based on auxin fluxes successfully predicted this property and the phenotype alteration of auxin transport mutants or plants with modified rythms of lateral root initiation. This suggests that root branching is controlled by mechanisms of lateral inhibition due to a competition between initiation and development/emergence for auxin.
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Mikaël Lucas, Yann Guédon, Christian Jay-Allemand, Christophe Godin, Laurent Laplaze. An auxin transport-based model of root branching in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2008, 3 (11), ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0003673⟩. ⟨hal-00831804⟩

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