Brassinosteroid Signaling in Root Development

Authored by: Josep Vilarrasa-Blasi , Mary-Paz González-García , Ana I. Caño-Delgado

Plant Roots

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  April  2013

Print ISBN: 9781439846483
eBook ISBN: 9781439846490
Adobe ISBN:


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Brassinosteriods (BRs) are polyhydroxylated triterpenoids essential for plant growth. BRs participate in a myriad of developmental processes, such as seed germination, pollen tube growth, male fertility, vascular development, flowering time, and senescence. During the plant life cycle, BRs modulate the plant response to environmental factors such as light, temperature, salt, and pathogens among others (Bajguz and Hayat 2009). BRs were originally discovered in Brassica napus L. pollen (Grove 1979). The past two decades, genetic and biochemical analyses have identified the main BR signaling and synthesis components in the plant model species Arabidopsis and rice (Vert et al. 2005; Kim and Wang 2010; Li 2010). The BR pathway is currently among the most highly studied signal transduction pathways in plants (Vert et al. 2005; Kim and Wang 2010; Clouse 2011; Figure 17.1). In aerial plant organs, the growth-promoting properties of BRs are exemplified by their positive effect on cell elongation. Recently, the comprehensive characterization of BR contribution to root growth has shown that in addition to cell elongation, BR-mediated cell cycle progression is central for growth and meristem maintenance in the primary root. This chapter summarizes the state of knowledge on BR signaling in Arabidopsis and the current understanding of BR action in root development.

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