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A phosphorus-limitation induced, functionally conserved DUF506 protein is a repressor of root hair elongation in plants
New Phytologist  (IF10.151),  Pub Date : 2021-11-14, DOI: 10.1111/nph.17862
Sheng Ying, Elison B. Blancaflor, Fuqi Liao, Wolf-Rüdiger Scheible

  • Root hairs (RHs) function in nutrient and water acquisition, root metabolite exudation, soil anchorage and plant–microbe interactions. Longer or more abundant RHs are potential breeding traits for developing crops that are more resource-use efficient and can improve soil health.
  • While many genes are known to promote RH elongation, relatively little is known about genes and mechanisms that constrain RH growth.
  • Here we demonstrate that a DOMAIN OF UNKNOWN FUNCTION 506 (DUF506) protein, AT3G25240, negatively regulates Arabidopsis thaliana RH growth. The AT3G25240 gene is strongly and specifically induced during phosphorus (P)-limitation. Mutants of this gene, which we call REPRESSOR OF EXCESSIVE ROOT HAIR ELONGATION 1 (RXR1), have much longer RHs, higher phosphate content and seedling biomass, while overexpression of the gene exhibits opposite phenotypes. Co-immunoprecipitation, pull-down and bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) analyses reveal that RXR1 physically interacts with a RabD2c GTPase in nucleus, and a rabd2c mutant phenocopies the rxr1 mutant. Furthermore, N-terminal variable region of RXR1 is crucial for inhibiting RH growth. Overexpression of a Brachypodium distachyon RXR1 homolog results in repression of RH elongation in Brachypodium.
  • Taken together, our results reveal a novel DUF506-GTPase module with a prominent role in repression of plant RH elongation especially under P stress.