Hydraulic flux–responsive hormone redistribution determines root branching

Poonam Mehra*, Bipin K. Pandey, Dalia Melebari, Jason Banda, Nicola Leftley, Valentin Couvreur, James Rowe, Moran Anfang, Hugues De Gernier, Emily Morris, Craig J. Sturrock, Sacha J. Mooney, Ranjan Swarup, Christine Faulkner, Tom Beeckman, Rishikesh P. Bhalerao, Eilon Shani, Alexander M. Jones, Ian C. Dodd, Robert E. SharpAri Sadanandom, Xavier Draye, Malcolm J. Bennett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Plant roots exhibit plasticity in their branching patterns to forage efficiently for heterogeneously distributed resources, such as soil water. The xerobranching response represses lateral root formation when roots lose contact with water. Here, we show that xerobranching is regulated by radial movement of the phloem-derived hormone abscisic acid, which disrupts intercellular communication between inner and outer cell layers through plasmodesmata. Closure of these intercellular pores disrupts the inward movement of the hormone signal auxin, blocking lateral root branching. Once root tips regain contact with moisture, the abscisic acid response rapidly attenuates. Our study reveals how roots adapt their branching pattern to heterogeneous soil water conditions by linking changes in hydraulic flux with dynamic hormone redistribution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-768
Number of pages7
JournalScience
Volume378
Issue number6621
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Nov 2022

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