Zeng Y, Verstraeten I, Trinh HK, Lardon R, Schotte S, Olatunji D, Heugebaert T, Stevens C, Quareshy M, Napier R, Nastasi SP, Costa A, De Rybel B, Bellini C, Beeckman T, Vanneste S, Geelen D.
Upon exposure to light, etiolated Arabidopsis seedlings form adventitious roots (AR) along the hypocotyl. While processes underlying lateral root formation are studied intensively, comparatively little is known about the molecular processes involved in the initiation of hypocotyl AR. AR and LR formation were studied using a small molecule named Hypocotyl Specific Adventitious Root INducer (HYSPARIN) that strongly induces AR but not LR formation. HYSPARIN does not trigger rapid DR5-reporter activation, DII-Venus degradation or Ca2+ signalling. Transcriptome analysis, auxin signalling reporter lines and mutants show that HYSPARIN AR induction involves nuclear TIR1/AFB and plasma membrane TMK auxin signalling, as well as multiple downstream LR development genes (SHY2/IAA3, PUCHI, MAKR4 and GATA23). Comparison of the AR and LR induction transcriptome identified SAURs, AGC kinases and OFP transcription factors as specifically upregulated by HYSPARIN. Members of the SAUR19 subfamily, OFP4 and AGC2 suppress HYS-induced AR formation. While SAUR19 and OFP subfamily members also mildly modulate LR formation, AGC2 regulates only AR induction. Analysis of HYSPARIN-induced AR formation uncovers an evolutionary conservation of auxin signalling controlling LR and AR induction in Arabidopsis seedlings and identifies SAUR19, OFP4 and AGC2 kinase as novel regulators of AR formation.