Interactions of auxin with ethylene and gravity in regulating growth and development in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum, Mill.) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/st74ct601

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  • Plant growth, development, and environmental responsiveness are dependent on hormone-induced gene expression. This dissertation reports multiple interactions between the plant hormones auxin and ethylene and investigates their contribution to the gravitropic response, elongation growth, adventitious root formation, callus and tracheary element initiation and growth, and flower development. Four mutants of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum, Mill.) altered in either hormone production or hormone response were used to test the involvement of ethylene and auxin. These mutants included diageotropica (dgt) which is auxin-resistant, Never-ripe (Nr), which is ethylene-resistant, epinastic (epi), which overproduces ethylene and lazy-2 (lz-2), which exhibits a phytochrome-dependent reversed-gravitropic response. Additionally, a double mutant between Nr and dgt was constructed and tested. Gravitropism was studied as an exemplary process involving both auxin and ethylene. Mutant analysis demonstrated that ethylene does not play a primary role in the gravitropic response via the currently known ethylene response pathways. However, ethylene can modify the gravitropic response, e.g. the delayed gravitropic response of the dgt mutant can be restored with exceedingly low concentrations of ethylene and ethylene synthesis- and ethylene-action inhibitors can partially inhibit the graviresponse. The role of gravity in tracheary element (TE) production was tested in microgravity (during a space shuttle flight) and in hypergravity (centrifugation). A correlation was found between gravitational force and the production of TEs, with decreased numbers of TEs produced in microgravity and increased numbers produced in response to hypergravity. Increased production of TEs by dgt in both increased and reduced gravity indicates that gravity regulates vascular development via a DGT-dependent pathway involving auxin. Combination of both the Nr and dgt mutations in a double mutant leads to plants which exhibit the reduction of auxin-sensitivity typical of dgt as well as a delay in fruit ripening typical of Nr. The reduced gravitropic response of the dgt mutant was restored to wild-type levels in the double mutant confirming a complex role for ethylene in the gravitropic response. Abnormal floral organ development was observed in a subset of double mutant flowers.These data demonstrate multiple connections between auxin and ethylene during development and provide further insight into their cellular interactions.
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