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Publikationen - Molekulare Signalverarbeitung

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Raschke, A., Ibañez, C., Ullrich, K., Anwer, M., Becker, S., Glöckner, A., Trenner, J., Denk, K., Saal, B., Sun, X., Ni, M., Davis, S., Delker, C. & Quint, M. Natural variants of ELF3 affect thermomorphogenesis by transcriptionally modulating PIF4-dependent auxin response genes BMC Plant Biol. 15, 197, (2015) DOI: 10.1186/s12870-015-0566-6


Perception and transduction of temperature changes result in altered growth enabling plants to adapt to increased ambient temperature. While PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR4 (PIF4) has been identified as a major ambient temperature signaling hub, its upstream regulation seems complex and is poorly understood. Here, we exploited natural variation for thermo-responsive growth in Arabidopsis thaliana using quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis.


We identified GIRAFFE2.1, a major QTL explaining ~18 % of the phenotypic variation for temperature-induced hypocotyl elongation in the Bay-0 x Sha recombinant inbred line population. Transgenic complementation demonstrated that allelic variation in the circadian clock regulator EARLY FLOWERING3 (ELF3) is underlying this QTL. The source of variation could be allocated to a single nucleotide polymorphism in the ELF3 coding region, resulting in differential expression of PIF4 and its target genes, likely causing the observed natural variation in thermo-responsive growth.

ConclusionsIn combination with other recent studies, this work establishes the role of ELF3 in the ambient temperature signaling network. Natural variation of ELF3-mediated gating of PIF4 expression during nightly growing periods seems to be affected by a coding sequence quantitative trait nucleotide that confers a selective advantage in certain environments. In addition, natural ELF3 alleles seem to differentially integrate temperature and photoperiod information to induce architectural changes. Thus, ELF3 emerges as an essential coordinator of growth and development in response to diverse environmental cues and implicates ELF3 as an important target of adaptation. 


Delker, C., Sonntag, L., Geo, V. J., Janitza, P., Ibañez, C., Ziermann, H., Peterson, T., Denk, K., Mull, S., Ziegler, J., Davis, S. J., Schneeberger, K. & Quint, M. The DET1-COP1-HY5 Pathway Constitutes a Multipurpose Signaling Module Regulating Plant Photomorphogenesis and Thermomorphogenesis Cell Rep 9, 1983–1989, (2014) DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.11.043

Developmental plasticity enables plants to respond to elevated ambient temperatures by adapting their shoot architecture. On the cellular level, the basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 4 (PIF4) coordinates this response by activating hormonal modules that in turn regulate growth. In addition to an unknown temperature-sensing mechanism, it is currently not understood how temperature regulates PIF4 activity. Using a forward genetic approach in Arabidopsis thaliana, we present extensive genetic evidence demonstrating that the DE-ETIOLATED 1 (DET1)-CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1 (COP1)-ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL 5 (HY5)-dependent photomorphogenesis pathway transcriptionally regulates PIF4 to coordinate seedling growth in response to elevated temperature. Our findings demonstrate that two of the most prevalent environmental cues, light and temperature, share a much larger set of signaling components than previously assumed. Similar to the toolbox concept in animal embryonic patterning, multipurpose signaling modules might have evolved in plants to translate various environmental stimuli into adaptational growth processes


Ludwig-Müller, J., Denk, K., Cohen, J.D. & Quint, M. An inhibitor of tryptophan-dependent biosynthesis of indole-3-acetic acid alters seedling development in Arabidopsis J Plant Growth Regul 29, 242-248, (2010)

Although polar transport and the TIR1-dependent signaling pathway of the plant hormone auxin/indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) are well characterized, understanding of the biosynthetic pathway(s) leading to the production of IAA is still limited. Genetic dissection of IAA biosynthetic pathways has been complicated by the metabolic redundancy caused by the apparent existence of several parallel biosynthetic routes leading to IAA production. Valuable complementary tools for genetic as well as biochemical analysis of auxin biosynthesis would be molecular inhibitors capable of acting in vivo on specific or general components of the pathway(s), which unfortunately have been lacking. Several indole derivatives have been previously identified to inhibit tryptophan-dependent IAA biosynthesis in an in vitro system from maize endosperm. We examined the effect of one of them, 6-fluoroindole, on seedling development of Arabidopsis thaliana and tested its ability to inhibit IAA biosynthesis in feeding experiments in vivo. We demonstrated a correlation of severe developmental defects or growth retardation caused by 6-fluoroindole with significant downregulation of de novo synthesized IAA levels, derived from the stable isotope-labeled tryptophan pool, upon treatment. Hence, 6-fluoroindole shows important features of an inhibitor of tryptophan-dependent IAA biosynthesis both in vitro and in vivo and thus may find use as a promising molecular tool for the identification of novel components of the auxin biosynthetic pathway(s).

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