Research ArticleDEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY

Anchorene is a carotenoid-derived regulatory metabolite required for anchor root formation in Arabidopsis

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Science Advances  27 Nov 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 11, eaaw6787
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw6787

Abstract

Anchor roots (ANRs) arise at the root-shoot junction and are the least investigated type of Arabidopsis root. Here, we show that ANRs originate from pericycle cells in an auxin-dependent manner and a carotenogenic signal to emerge. By screening known and assumed carotenoid derivatives, we identified anchorene, a presumed carotenoid-derived dialdehyde (diapocarotenoid), as the specific signal needed for ANR formation. We demonstrate that anchorene is an Arabidopsis metabolite and that its exogenous application rescues the ANR phenotype in carotenoid-deficient plants and promotes the growth of normal seedlings. Nitrogen deficiency resulted in enhanced anchorene content and an increased number of ANRs, suggesting a role of this nutrient in determining anchorene content and ANR formation. Transcriptome analysis and treatment of auxin reporter lines indicate that anchorene triggers ANR formation by modulating auxin homeostasis. Together, our work reveals a growth regulator with potential application to agriculture and a new carotenoid-derived signaling molecule.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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