Strigolactones are a newly identified (2008) group of plant hormones known to control bud outgrowth. Recently the applicant has discovered that strigolactones also inhibit the formation of roots from non-root tissues (adventitious roots), defining a new role for strigolactones in plants. Adventitious root formation is central for clonal propagation of elite plants and requires the dedifferentiation of stem tissues followed by controlled cell divisions. Plant hormones including auxin regulate adventitious root formation and physiological properties such as age of the explants also determine root induction success. However, the interaction between ageing and plant hormones is poorly understood. Preliminary evidence for age-related variation in strigolactone control of adventitious root formation suggests that the physiological conditions restricting adventitious rooting are likely mediated through a strigolactone signalling mechanism. This project will characterize age-related variation in the strigolactone control of adventitious rooting. Explants from different developmental stages of Poplar and strigolactone mutants of Pea and Arabidopsis will be examined for adventitious rooting phenotypes and response to strigolactone. The project will also investigate interactions with the rooting promoter auxin particularly in relation to the newly identified ARF6, ARF8 and ARF17 regulatory pathway for adventitious rooting developed by Prof. Bellini. This project will facilitate exchange of expertise between the strigolactone lab of Assoc. Prof. Beveridge (Australia), the auxin regulation of adventitious roots (Prof. Bellini, Sweden), the lateral root lab of Prof. Beeckman (Belgium) and the host lab of Prof. Geelen (Belgium) focusing on adventitious rooting and tissue culture.
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