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Long-Distance Signaling And The Control Of Branching In Therms1 Mutant Of Pea

Eloise Foo, Colin G.N. Turnbull, Christine A. Beveridge

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Abstract The ramosus (rms) mutation (rms1) of pea (Pisum sativum) causes increased branching through modification of graft-transmissible signal(s) produced in rootstock and shoot. Additional grafting techniques have led us to propose that the novel signal regulated byRms1 moves acropetally in shoots and acts as a branching inhibitor. Epicotyl interstock grafts showed that wild-type (WT) epicotyls grafted between rms1 scions and rootstocks can revert mutant scions to a WT non-branching phenotype. Mutant scions grafted together with mutant and WT rootstocks did not branch despite a contiguous mutant root-shoot system. The primary action ofRms1 is, therefore, unlikely to be to block transport of a branching stimulus from root to shoot. Rather, Rms1may influence a long-distance signal that functions, directly or indirectly, as a branching inhibitor. It can be deduced that this signal moves acropetally in shoots because WT rootstocks inhibit branching in rms1 shoots, and although WT scions do not branch when grafted to mutant rootstocks, they do not inhibit branching in rms1 cotyledonary shoots growing from the same rootstocks. The acropetal direction of transport of theRms1 signal supports previous evidence that therms1 lesion is not in an auxin biosynthesis or transport pathway. The different branching phenotypes of WT andrms1 shoots growing from the same rms1rootstock provides further evidence that the shoot has a major role in the regulation of branching and, moreover, that root-exported cytokinin is not the only graft-transmissible signal regulating branching in intact pea plants.