Arabidopsis thaliana SUPERMAN (SUP) plays an important role during flower development by maintaining the boundary between stamens and carpels in the inner two whorls. It was proposed that SUP maintains this boundary by regulating cell proliferation in both whorls, as loss-of-function superman mutants produce more stamens at the expense of carpels. However, the cellular mechanism that underlies SUP function remains unknown. Here Arabidopsis or tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) SUP was overexpressed in tobacco plants to substantiate SUP's role as a regulator of cell proliferation and boundary definition and provide evidence that its biological role may be mediated via hormonal changes. It was found that moderate levels of SUP stimulated cell growth and proliferation, whereas high levels were inhibitory. SUP stimulated auxin- and cytokinin-regulated processes, and cells overexpressing SUP displayed reduced hormone dependency for proliferation and regeneration into plants. SUP also induced proliferation of female traits in the second and third flower whorls and promoted differentiation of petaloid properties in sepals, further supporting a role for SUP as a boundary regulator. Moreover, cytokinin suppressed stamen development and promoted differentiation of carpeloid tissues, suggesting that SUP may regulate male and female development via its effect on cytokinin signalling. Taken together, these observations suggest a model whereby the effect of SUP on cell growth and proliferation involves the modulation of auxin- and cytokinin-regulated processes. Furthermore, differential SUP expression or different sensitivities of different cell types to SUP may determine whether SUP stimulates or suppresses their proliferation.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Botany|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Oct 2010|