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Hormonal control of the shoot stem-cell niche


The classic phytohormones cytokinin and auxin play essential roles in the maintenance of stem-cell systems embedded in shoot and root meristems, and exhibit complex functional interactions1,2,3,4. Here we show that the activity of both hormones directly converges on the promoters of two A-type ARABIDOPSIS RESPONSE REGULATOR (ARR) genes, ARR7 and ARR15, which are negative regulators of cytokinin signalling5 and have important meristematic functions3. Whereas ARR7 and ARR15 expression in the shoot apical meristem (SAM) is induced by cytokinin, auxin has a negative effect, which is, at least in part, mediated by the AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR5/MONOPTEROS (MP) transcription factor6. Our results provide a mechanistic framework for hormonal control of the apical stem-cell niche and demonstrate how root and shoot stem-cell systems differ in their response to phytohormones.

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Figure 1: ARR15 and ARR7 have important roles for SAM regulation.
Figure 2: Interaction of ARR7 and ARR15 with auxin signalling.
Figure 3: Regulatory and functional interaction of ARR15 and ARF5/MONOPTEROS.
Figure 4: Cross talk between auxin and cytokinin affects the stem-cell niche.


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We thank G. Jürgens, K. Schneitz and D. Weigel for reading the manuscript, and I. Weißwange for imaging. This work was supported by a Human Frontier Science Program Career Development Award, an EMBO Young Investigator Award, the SFB446 (all to J.U.L.), a Carlsberg Foundation fellowship (to S.U.A.), a Czech Ministry of Education grant (MSM 6198959216) (to K.D.) and the Max Planck Society.

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Authors and Affiliations



S.U.A. established the AM7/15 line and performed the microarray experiment, K.L. and K.D. quantified cytokinin content, A.M. performed ChIP experiments, S.J.S performed bioinformatic analyses and Z.Z. performed all other experiments. Z.Z and J.U.L. designed experiments and wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Jan U. Lohmann.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Zhao, Z., Andersen, S., Ljung, K. et al. Hormonal control of the shoot stem-cell niche. Nature 465, 1089–1092 (2010).

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