Cytokinin-responsive MdTCP17 Interacts with MdWOX11 to Repress Adventitious Root Primordium Formation in Apple Rootstocks
Published:30 Jan.2023    Source:The Plant Cell

Adventitious root (AR) formation plays an important role in vegetatively propagated plants. Cytokinin (CK) inhibits AR formation, but the molecular mechanisms driving this process remain unknown. In this study, we confirmed that CK content is related to AR formation and further revealed that a high auxin/CK ratio was beneficial to AR formation in apple (Malus domestica). A correlation between expression of CK-responsive TEOSINTE BRANCHED1, CYCLOIDEA, and PCF17 (MdTCP17) and AR formation in response to CK was identified, and overexpression of MdTCP17 in transgenic apple inhibited AR formation. Yeast two-hybrid, bimolecular fluorescence complementation, and co-immunoprecipitation assays revealed an interaction between MdTCP17 and WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX11 (MdWOX11), and a significant correlation between the expression of MdWOX11 and AR ability. Overexpression of MdWOX11 promoted AR primordium formation in apple, while interference of MdWOX11 inhibited AR primordium production. Moreover, a positive correlation was found between MdWOX11 and LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES DOMAIN29 (MdLBD29) expression, and yeast one-hybrid, dual luciferase reporter, and ChIP-qPCR assays verified the binding of MdWOX11 to the MdLBD29 promoter with a WOX-box element in the binding sequence. Furthermore, MdTCP17 reduced the binding of MdWOX11 and MdLBD29 promoters, and co-expression of MdTCP17 and MdWOX11 reduced MdLBD29 expression. Together, these results explain the function and molecular mechanism of MdTCP17-mediated CK inhibition of AR primordium formation, which could be used to improve apple rootstocks genetically.