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Antagonistic Action Of Strigolactone And Cytokinin In Bud Outgrowth Control  

Elizabeth A. Dun, Alexandre de Saint Germain, Catherine Rameau, Christine A. Beveridge

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Abstract Cytokinin (CK) has long been implicated as a promoter of bud outgrowth in plants, but exactly how this is achieved in coordination with other plant hormones is unclear. The recent discovery of strigolactones (SLs) as the long-sought branch-inhibiting hormone allowed us to test how CK and SL coordinately regulate bud outgrowth in pea (Pisum sativum). We found that SL-deficient plants are more sensitive to stimulation of bud growth by low concentrations of locally applied CK than wild-type plants. Furthermore, in contrast with SL mutant plants, buds of wild-type plants are almost completely resistant to stimulation by CK supplied to the vasculature. Regardless of whether the exogenous hormones were supplied locally or to the xylem stream, SL and CK acted antagonistically on bud outgrowth. These data suggest that SLs do not affect the delivery of CK to axillary buds and vice versa. Rather, these data combined with dose-response experiments suggest that SLs and CK can act directly in buds to control their outgrowth. These hormones may converge at a common point in the bud outgrowth regulatory pathway. The expression of pea BRANCHED1, a TCP transcription factor expressed strongly in buds and thought to act downstream of SLs in shoot branching, is regulated by CK and SL without a requirement for protein synthesis and in a manner that correlates with observed bud growth responses.