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Auxin fluxes through plasmodesmata modify root-tip auxin distribution


Assistant Professor

George Janes

Principal Research Fellow

Associate Professor


© 2020. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Auxin is a key signal regulating plant growth and development. It is well established that auxin dynamics depend on the spatial distribution of efflux and influx carriers on the cell membranes. In this study, we employ a systems approach to characterise an alternative symplastic pathway for auxin mobilisation via plasmodesmata, which function as intercellular pores linking the cytoplasm of adjacent cells. To investigate the role of plasmodesmata in auxin patterning, we developed a multicellular model of the Arabidopsis root tip. We tested the model predictions using the DII-VENUS auxin response reporter, comparing the predicted and observed DII-VENUS distributions using genetic and chemical perturbations designed to affect both carrier-mediated and plasmodesmatal auxin fluxes. The model revealed that carrier-mediated transport alone cannot explain the experimentally determined auxin distribution in the root tip. In contrast, a composite model that incorporates both carrier-mediated and plasmodesmatal auxin fluxes re-capitulates the root-tip auxin distribution. We found that auxin fluxes through plasmodesmata enable auxin reflux and increase total root-tip auxin. We conclude that auxin fluxes through plasmodesmata modify the auxin distribution created by efflux and influx carriers.


Mellor, N. L., Voß, U., Janes, G., Bennett, M. J., Wells, D. M., & Band, L. R. (2020). Auxin fluxes through plasmodesmata modify root-tip auxin distribution. Development, 147(6), Article dev181669.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 17, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 30, 2020
Publication Date Mar 15, 2020
Deposit Date Feb 19, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2020
Journal Development (Cambridge, England)
Print ISSN 0950-1991
Electronic ISSN 1477-9129
Publisher Company of Biologists
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 147
Issue 6
Article Number dev181669
Keywords Auxin transport; Plasmodesmata; Mathematical modelling; Root biology; Developmental Biology; Molecular Biology
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