Auxin elicits diverse cell behaviors through a simple nuclear signaling pathway initiated by degradation of Aux/IAA co-repressors. Our previous work revealed that members of the large Arabidopsis Aux/IAA family exhibit a range of degradation rates in synthetic contexts. However, it remained an unresolved issue whether differences in Aux/IAA turnover rates played a significant role in plant responses to auxin. Here, we use the well-established model of lateral root development to directly test the hypothesis that the rate of auxin-induced Aux/IAA turnover sets the pace for auxin-regulated developmental events. We did this by generating transgenic plants expressing degradation rate variants of IAA14, a crucial determinant of lateral root initiation. Progression through the well-established stages of lateral root development was strongly correlated with the engineered rates of IAA14 turnover, leading to the conclusion that Aux/IAAs are auxin-initiated timers that synchronize developmental transitions.
- Received September 5, 2014.
- Accepted December 28, 2014.