Key role for calcium release in root development

Key role for calcium release in root development
dmi1 mutants are impaired in primary root development. a Representative image of Col-0, dmi1-1, and dmi1-2 seedlings 6 days after germination (dag) (scale bar represents 0.2 cm). b, c Primary root length of wild type (Col-0), dmi1-1 (b) and dmi1-2 (c) 6 and 12 dag. d Cellular organisation of the root meristem visualised by confocal microscopy after staining with propidium iodide of wild type (Col-0), dmi1-1, and dmi1-2 at 6 dag. White and red triangles mark the first elongated cortex cell and the quiescent centre (QC), respectively. Scale bars represent 50 µm. eh Root meristem length (e), root meristem cell number (f), and cell length over cell position from the QC to the last meristematic cortex cell (g, h) of wild type (Col-0), dmi1-1, and dmi1-2. Black arrows in g, h mark the last meristematic cell. i Cell length over cell position from the first rapidly elongated cortex cell of Col-0 and dmi1-1. (n ≥ 41 in each population for each cell position). j Cell length of the first mature cortex cell of Col-0 and dmi1-1. Values in bar and xy charts are means ± s.e.m. Box and whisker plots show 25% and 75% percentiles, median, minimum, and maximum. Numbers in bars and under boxes denote sample size (n). n.s. not significant, *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001 (two-tailed t test with a prior F-test for homoscedasticity). b, c, ei The data represent three biological replicates. j The data represent two biological replicates combined. Credit: Nature Communications

The role of calcium is well understood as a function of signaling between plants and symbiotic fungi that assist nitrogen fixation and phosphate uptake.

Now a new study by researchers at the John Innes Centre has discovered that calcium plays a key role in primary root development.

Using genetics and approaches the team reveal that calcium can be released by the nucleus of root apical meristem—the region of the growing root.

Using genetic approaches the team could modulate nuclear calcium signatures to obtain longer or shorter roots in Arabidopsis thaliana.

They also report a role for nuclear calcium release in modulating the plant growth hormone auxin.

"The governing symbiotic factor-induced nuclear calcium release are conserved among all including non-symbiotic species suggesting additional function beyond symbioses." says Dr. Myriam Charpentier, from the John Innes Centre.

"Discovering additional role of nuclear calcium release may help us improve plant growth and translate the discovery into agronomically relevant species," she adds

The group will now continue studying how modulation of nuclear calcium signals influence plant development and biotic interaction. This includes increasing the mechanistic understanding of its regulation as well as the mechanistic understanding of its impact.

The study "Nuclear calcium signatures are associated with root development" is published in Nature Communications.

Explore further

Scientists discover missing link in plant nitrogen fixation process

More information: Nuno Leitão et al. Nuclear calcium signatures are associated with root development, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12845-8
Provided by John Innes Centre
Citation: Key role for calcium release in root development (2019, October 28) retrieved 12 December 2019 from
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