PLANT SCIENCE: Plant development regulated by cytokinin sinks

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Morphogenetic signals control the patterning of multicellular organisms. Cytokinins are mobile signals that are perceived by subsets of plant cells. We found that the responses to cytokinin signaling duringArabidopsisdevelopment are constrained by the transporter PURINE PERMEASE 14 (PUP14). In our experiments, the expression ofPUP14was inversely correlated to the cytokinin signaling readout. Loss ofPUP14function allowed ectopic cytokinin signaling accompanied by aberrant morphogenesis in embryos, roots, and the shoot apical meristem. PUP14 protein localized to the plasma membrane and imported bioactive cytokinins, thus depleting apoplastic cytokinin pools and inhibiting perception by plasma membrane-localized cytokinin sensors to create a sink for active ligands. We propose that the spatiotemporal cytokinin sink patterns established by PUP14 determine the cytokinin signaling landscape that shapes the morphogenesis of land plants.

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