Defects in root development and gravity response in the aem1 mutant of rice are associated with reduced auxin efflux

Bakul Rani Debi, Tory Chhun, Shin Taketa, Seiji Tsurumi, Kai Xia, Akio Miyao, Hirohiko Hirochika, Masahiko Ichii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The phytohormone auxin is involved in the regulation of a variety of developmental processes. In this report, we describe how the processes of lateral root and root hair formations and root gravity response in rice are controlled by auxin. We use a rice mutant aem1 (auxin efflux mutant) because the mutant is defective in these characters. The aem1 line was originally isolated as a short lateral root mutant, but we found that the mutant has a defect in auxin efflux in roots. The acropetal and basipetal indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) transports were reduced in aem1 roots compared to wild type (WT). Furthermore, gravitropic bending as well as efflux of radioactive IAA was impaired in the mutant roots. We also propose a unique distribution of endogenous IAA in aem1 roots. An immunoassay revealed a 4-fold-endogenous IAA content in the aem1 roots compared to WT, and the application of IAA to the shoot of WT seedlings mimicked the short lateral root phenotype of aem1, suggesting that the high content of IAA in aem1 roots impaired the elongation of lateral roots. However, the high level of IAA in aem1 roots contradicts the auxin requirement for root hair formation in the epidermis of mutant roots. Since the reduced development in root hairs of aem1 roots was rescued by exogenous auxin, the auxin level in the epidermis is likely to be sub-optimum in aem1 roots. This discrepancy can be solved by the ideas that IAA level is higher in the stele and lower in the epidermis of aem1 roots compared to WT and that the unique distribution of IAA in aem1 roots is induced by the defect in auxin efflux. All these results suggest that AEM1 may encode a component of auxin efflux carrier in rice and that the defects in lateral roots, root hair formation and root gravity response in aem1 mutant are due to the altered auxin efflux in roots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-685
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 14 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Auxin efflux
  • Auxin transport
  • Lateral root
  • Rice mutant
  • Root gravitropism
  • Root hair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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