GDP-L-fucose is required for boundary definition in plants

The CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON (CUC) transcription factors control plant boundary formation, thus allowing the emergence of novel growth axes. While the developmental roles of the CUC genes in different organs and across species are well characterized, upstream and downstream events that contribute to their function are still poorly understood. To identify new players in this network, we performed a suppressor screen of CUC2g-m4, a line overexpressing CUC2 that has highly serrated leaves. We identified a mutation that simplifies leaf shape and affects MURUS1 (MUR1), which is responsible for GDP-L-fucose production. Using detailed morphometric analysis, we show that GDP-L-fucose has an essential role in leaf shape acquisition by sustaining differential growth at the leaf margins. Accordingly, reduced CUC2 expression levels are observed in mur1 leaves. Furthermore, genetic analyses reveal a conserved role for GDP-L-fucose in different developmental contexts where it contributes to organ separation in the same pathway as CUC2. Taken together, our results reveal that GDP-L-fucose is necessary for proper establishment of boundary domains in various developmental contexts.

Journal of Experimental Botany 2017, 68(21-22):5801–5811

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erx402

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A SWI/SNF Chromatin Remodelling Protein Controls Cytokinin Production through the Regulation of Chromatin Architecture.

Chromatin architecture determines transcriptional accessibility to DNA and consequently gene expression levels in response to developmental and environmental stimuli. Recently, chromatin remodelers such as SWI/SNF complexes have been recognized as key regulators of chromatin architecture. To gain insight into the function of these complexes during root development, we have analyzed Arabidopsis knock-down lines for one sub-unit of SWI/SNF complexes: BAF60. Here, we show that BAF60 is a positive regulator of root development and cell cycle progression in the root meristem via its ability to down-regulate cytokinin production. By opposing both the deposition of active histone marks and the formation of a chromatin regulatory loop, BAF60 negatively regulates two crucial target genes for cytokinin biosynthesis (IPT3 and IPT7) and one cell cycle inhibitor (KRP7). Our results demonstrate that SWI/SNF complexes containing BAF60 are key factors governing the equilibrium between formation and dissociation of a chromatin loop controlling phytohormone production and cell cycle progression.

PLoS One, 2015, 10(10):e0138276.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138276

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