DOI: 10.1111/ppl.14120 ISSN: 0031-9317

A unique mutation in PIN‐FORMED1 and a genetic pathway for reduced sensitivity of Arabidopsis roots to N‐1‐naphthylphthalamic acid

Minhua Huang, Jie Chen, Xinxing Yang, Yanyan Zheng, Yuan Ma, Kai Sun, Ning Han, Hongwu Bian, Ting Qiu, Junhui Wang
  • Cell Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Genetics
  • General Medicine
  • Physiology


The small chemical N‐1‐naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA) has long been used as a polar auxin transport inhibitor. Recent biochemical and structural investigations have revealed that this molecule competes with the auxin IAA (indole‐3‐acetic acid) inside the PIN‐FORMED auxin efflux carriers. However, the existence of any mutations in PIN family proteins capable of uncoupling the docking of IAA from NPA remains unclear. We report that Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings overexpressing SMALL AUXIN UP RNA 41 were hypersensitive to NPA‐induced root elongation inhibition. We mutagenized this line to improve the genetic screening efficiency for NPA hyposensitivity mutants. Using bulked segregation analysis and mapping‐by‐sequencing assessment of these mutants, we identified a core genetic pathway for NPA‐induced root elongation inhibition, including genes required for auxin biosynthesis, transportation, and signaling. To evaluate specific changes of auxin signaling activity in mutant roots before and after NPA treatment, the DR5::GFP/DR5::YFP markers were introduced and observed. Most importantly, we discovered a unique mutation in the PIN1 protein, substituting a proline residue with leucine at position 584, leading to a loss of NPA sensitivity while keeping the auxin efflux capacity. Transforming the null mutant pin1‐201 with the PIN1::PIN1P584L‐GFP fusion construct rescued the PIN1 function and provided NPA hyposensitivity. The proline residue is predicted to be adjacent to a hinge in the middle region of the ninth transmembrane helix of PIN1 and is conserved from moss to higher plants. Our work may bring new insights into the engineering of NPA‐resistant PINs for auxin biology studies.

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