To clarify how root-synthesized cytokinins (CKs) are transported to young shoot organs, CK distribution patterns were analysed in free-CK-responsive ARR5::GUS transformants of Arabidopsis thaliana (L) Heynh. together with free plus bound CKs using specific CK monoclonal antibodies. Plants were subjected to two different growth conditions, completely protected from any air movement, or exposed to gentle wind 3 h before harvesting. In wind-protected plants the strongest ARR5::GUS expression was found in the root cap statocytes, spreading upwards in the vascular cylinder. This pattern in roots was congruent with that found by CK immunolocalization. Shoots of wind-protected plants displayed either no or only low ARR5::GUS expression in the stem vascular bundles, nodal ramifications, and the bases of flower buds; shoot vascular bundles showed patterns of acropetally decreasing staining and the apical parts of buds and leaves were free from ARR5::GUS expression. In wind-exposed plants ARR5::GUS expression was considerably increased in shoots, also in basal-to-apical decreasing gradients. immunolabelled shoots showed differential staining, with the strongest label in the vascular bundles of stems, leaves, and buds. The fact of the apparent absence of free CK in the buds of wind-protected plants and the typical upward decreasing gradients of free and conjugated CKs suggest that the bulk of the CK is synthesized in the root cap, exported through the xylem and accumulates at sites of highest transpiration where cuticles do not yet exist or do not protect against water loss.
- ARR5::GUS expression
- Cytokinin immunolocalization
- Root cap
- Transpiration-dependent acropetal cytokinin gradient