An examination of the relationship between NO, ABA and auxin in lateral root initiation and root elongation in tomato
Thesis DisciplinePlant Biotechnology
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The length of the primary root and the density of lateral roots determine the architecture of the root. In this thesis the effect of NAA, ABA and the NO donor SNP alone as well as the combination of ABA or NAA with SNP on lateral root development was investigated. The interaction between CPTIO, a NO scavenger, and NAA or SNP is also reported. Following preliminary experiments in which it was observed that the aerial part of the seedling influenced LR growth and that there was a possible inhibitory effect of light on cultured root tips, experiments were conducted with excised roots tips in the dark. NAA was shown to have the potential to initiate LRs across a wide concentration gradient with the total number of LRs and initiated lateral root primordia (LRP) remaining constant across the range of concentrations tested. Over the last decade, nitric oxide (NO), a bioactive molecule, has been reported to be involved in the regulation of many biological pathways. The presence of NO in the system provided via sodium nitroprusside (SNP), promoted LRP initiation based on the NAA concentration gradient; but without changing the total LR initiation, that is LRs plus primordia density remained constant along the concentration gradient of NAA. The absence of LR and LRP in the treatments of CPTIO (a NO scavenger) with SNP or NAA suggests that NO regulates LRP initiation triggered by NAA, which is in agreement with the recent paper published after the commencement of this study (Correa-Aragunde et al., 2006). In agreement with previous studies, ABA inhibited lateral root development by reducing LR density and the number of LRs. The experiments with fluridone, an ABA biosynthesis inhibitor, may indicate that endogenous ABA was at sufficient concentrations in the excised root tips to inhibit primordia initiation. In this study, evidence is presented for the first time to show that SNP can relieve the inhibitory effect of ABA on LR density and number of LRs suggesting the NO, released from SNP, acts downstream of ABA. Overall these data confirm a critical role for NO in LR initiation.