4 years ago

Spatially Different Tissue-Scale Diffusivity Shapes ANGUSTIFOLIA3 Gradient in Growing Leaves

Spatially Different Tissue-Scale Diffusivity Shapes ANGUSTIFOLIA3 Gradient in Growing Leaves
Gorou Horiguchi, Hirokazu Tsukaya, Hirokazu Tanimoto, Kensuke Kawade


The spatial gradient of signaling molecules is pivotal for establishing developmental patterns of multicellular organisms. It has long been proposed that these gradients could arise from the pure diffusion process of signaling molecules between cells, but whether this simplest mechanism establishes the formation of the tissue-scale gradient remains unclear. Plasmodesmata are unique channel structures in plants that connect neighboring cells for molecular transport. In this study, we measured cellular- and tissue-scale kinetics of molecular transport through plasmodesmata in Arabidopsis thaliana developing leaf primordia by fluorescence recovery assays. These trans-scale measurements revealed biophysical properties of diffusive molecular transport through plasmodesmata and revealed that the tissue-scale diffusivity, but not the cellular-scale diffusivity, is spatially different along the leaf proximal-to-distal axis. We found that the gradient in cell size along the developmental axis underlies this spatially different tissue-scale diffusivity. We then asked how this diffusion-based framework functions in establishing a signaling gradient of endogenous molecules. ANGUSTIFOLIA3 (AN3) is a transcriptional co-activator, and as we have shown here, it forms a long-range signaling gradient along the leaf proximal-to-distal axis to determine a cell-proliferation domain. By genetically engineering AN3 mobility, we assessed each contribution of cell-to-cell movement and tissue growth to the distribution of the AN3 gradient. We constructed a diffusion-based theoretical model using these quantitative data to analyze the AN3 gradient formation and demonstrated that it could be achieved solely by the diffusive molecular transport in a growing tissue. Our results indicate that the spatially different tissue-scale diffusivity is a core mechanism for AN3 gradient formation. This provides evidence that the pure diffusion process establishes the formation of the long-range signaling gradient in leaf development.

Publisher URL: http://www.cell.com/biophysj/fulltext/S0006-3495(17)30808-1

DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.06.072

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