The gaseous hormone ethylene participates in many physiological processes in plants. Ethylene-inhibited root elongation involves PIN-FORMED2 (PIN2)-mediated basipetal auxin transport, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of PIN2 function by ethylene (and therefore auxin distribution) are poorly understood. Here, we report that the plant-specific and ethylene-responsive HD-Zip gene HB52 is involved in ethylene-mediated inhibition of primary root elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Biochemical and genetic analyses demonstrated that HB52 is ethylene responsive and acts downstream of ETHYLENE-INSENSITIVE3 (EIN3). HB52 knockdown mutants displayed an ethylene-insensitive phenotype during primary root elongation, while its overexpression resulted in short roots, as observed in ethylene-treated plants. In addition, root auxin distribution and gravitropism were impaired in HB52 knockdown and overexpression lines. Consistent with these findings, in vitro and in vivo binding experiments showed that HB52 regulates the expression of auxin transport-related genes, including PIN2, WAVY ROOT GROWTH1 (WAG1), and WAG2 by physically binding to their promoter regions. These findings suggest that HB52 functions in the ethylene-mediated inhibition of root elongation by modulating the expression of auxin transport components downstream of EIN3, revealing a mechanism in which HB52 acts as an important node in the crosstalk between ethylene and auxin signaling during plant growth and development.

Source link