AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR7 Restores The Expression Of Auxin-Responsive Genes In Mutant Arabidopsis Leaf Mesophyll Protoplasts
AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR7 (ARF7) is one of five ARF transcriptional activators in Arabidopsis thaliana that is proposed to regulate auxin-responsive expression of genes containing TGTCTC auxin response elements in their promoters. An Arabidopsis mutant (nonphototropic hypocotyl4-1 [nph4-1]) that is a null for ARF7 showed strongly reduced expression of integrated auxin-responsive reporter genes and natural genes that were monitored in Arabidopsis leaf mesophyll protoplasts. Expression of the reporter and natural genes was restored in an auxin-dependent manner when protoplasts were transfected with a 35S:ARF7 effector gene, encoding a full-length ARF7 protein. Transfection of effector genes encoding other ARF activators restored auxin-responsive gene expression to varying degrees, but less than that observed with the ARF7 effector gene. Arabidopsis lines that were null for ARF6, ARF8, or ARF19 were not defective in expression of the reporter and natural auxin response genes assayed in mesophyll protoplasts, suggesting that ARF7 plays a major role in regulating expression of a subset of auxin response genes in leaf mesophyll cells. Auxin-responsive gene expression was induced in wild-type protoplasts and restored in nph4-1 protoplasts only with auxin and not with other hormones, including brassinolide. In the presence of auxin, however, brassinolide modestly enhanced auxin-responsive gene expression.