Natural variation of transcriptional auxin response networks in Arabidopsis thaliana

The Plant Cell
Carolin DelkerMarcel Quint


Natural variation has been observed for various traits in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we investigated natural variation in the context of physiological and transcriptional responses to the phytohormone auxin, a key regulator of plant development. A survey of the general extent of natural variation to auxin stimuli revealed significant physiological variation among 20 genetically diverse natural accessions. Moreover, we observed dramatic variation on the global transcriptome level after induction of auxin responses in seven accessions. Although we detect isolated cases of major-effect polymorphisms, sequencing of signaling genes revealed sequence conservation, making selective pressures that favor functionally different protein variants among accessions unlikely. However, coexpression analyses of a priori defined auxin signaling networks identified variations in the transcriptional equilibrium of signaling components. In agreement with this, cluster analyses of genome-wide expression profiles followed by analyses of a posteriori defined gene networks revealed accession-specific auxin responses. We hypothesize that quantitative distortions in the ratios of interacting signaling components contribute to the detected transcriptiona...Continue Reading


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