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Computational Modeling and Molecular Physiology Experiments Reveal New Insights into Shoot Branching in Pea

Elizabeth A. Dun, Jim Hanan and Christine A. Beveridge
The Plant Cell
Vol. 21, No. 11 (Nov., 2009), pp. 3459-3472
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40537524
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Computational Modeling and Molecular Physiology Experiments Reveal New Insights into Shoot Branching in Pea
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Abstract

Bud outgrowth is regulated by the interplay of multiple hormones, including auxin, cytokinin, strigolactones, and an unidentified long-distance feedback signal that moves from shoot to root. The model of bud outgrowth regulation in pea [Pisum sativum) includes these signals and a network of five RAMOSUS (RMS) genes that operate in a shoot-root-shoot loop to regulate the synthesis of, and response to, strigolactones. The number of components in this network renders the integration of new and existing hypotheses both complex and cumbersome. A hypothesis-driven computational model was therefore developed to help understand regulation of shoot branching. The model evolved in parallel with stepwise laboratory research, helping to define and test key hypotheses. The computational model was used to verify new mechanisms involved in the regulation of shoot branching by confirming that the new hypotheses captured all relevant biological data sets. Based on cytokinin and RMS1 expression analyses, this model is extended to include subtle but important differences in the function of RMS3 and RMS4 genes in the shoot and rootstock. Additionally, this research indicates that a branch-derived signal upregulates RMS1 expression independent of the other feedback signal. Furthermore, we propose xylem-sap cytokinin promotes sustained bud outgrowth, rather than acting at the earlier stage of bud release.

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