Cell kinetics of auxin transport and activity in Arabidopsis root growth and skewing

Yangjie Hu, Moutasem Omary, Yun Hu, Ohad Doron, Lukas Hoermayer, Qingguo Chen, Or Megides, Ori Chekli, Zhaojun Ding, Jiří Friml, Yunde Zhao*, Ilan Tsarfaty*, Eilon Shani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Auxin is a key regulator of plant growth and development. Local auxin biosynthesis and intercellular transport generates regional gradients in the root that are instructive for processes such as specification of developmental zones that maintain root growth and tropic responses. Here we present a toolbox to study auxin-mediated root development that features: (i) the ability to control auxin synthesis with high spatio-temporal resolution and (ii) single-cell nucleus tracking and morphokinetic analysis infrastructure. Integration of these two features enables cutting-edge analysis of root development at single-cell resolution based on morphokinetic parameters under normal growth conditions and during cell-type-specific induction of auxin biosynthesis. We show directional auxin flow in the root and refine the contributions of key players in this process. In addition, we determine the quantitative kinetics of Arabidopsis root meristem skewing, which depends on local auxin gradients but does not require PIN2 and AUX1 auxin transporter activities. Beyond the mechanistic insights into root development, the tools developed here will enable biologists to study kinetics and morphology of various critical processes at the single cell-level in whole organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1657
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


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