Modulation of root branching by a coumarin derivative


Li, X., Gao, M.J. (2011). Modulation of root branching by a coumarin derivative. Plant Signaling & Behavior, [online] 6(11), 1654-1655.


A healthy root system is crucial to plant growth and survival. To maintain efficiency of root function, plants have to dynamically modulate root system architecture through various adaptive mechanisms such as lateral root formation to respond to a changing and diversified soil environment. Exogenous application of a coumarin derivative, 4-methylumbelliferone (4-MU), in Arabidopsis thaliana inhibits seed germination by mainly reducing primary root growth. UDP-glycosyltransferases play an integral role in the biochemical mechanism of 4-MU detoxication in plant roots.1 However, 4-MU treatment also dramatically led to increased lateral root initiation, elongation and density. Moreover, marked root bending at the root-hypocotyl junction and auxin redistribution appeared to contribute to the 4-MU-mediated lateral root formation. We propose that 4-MU would serve as a useful chemical tool to study auxin-mediated root branching. © 2011 Landes Bioscience.

Publication date


Author profiles