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Interplay of the two ancient metabolites auxin and MEcPP regulates adaptive growth


The ancient morphoregulatory hormone auxin dynamically realigns dedicated cellular processes that shape plant growth under prevailing environmental conditions. However, the nature of the stress-responsive signal altering auxin homeostasis remains elusive. Here we establish that the evolutionarily conserved plastidial retrograde signaling metabolite methylerythritol cyclodiphosphate (MEcPP) controls adaptive growth by dual transcriptional and post-translational regulatory inputs that modulate auxin levels and distribution patterns in response to stress. We demonstrate that in vivo accumulation or exogenous application of MEcPP alters the expression of two auxin reporters, DR5:GFP and DII-VENUS, and reduces the abundance of the auxin-efflux carrier PIN-FORMED1 (PIN1) at the plasma membrane. However, pharmacological intervention with clathrin-mediated endocytosis blocks the PIN1 reduction. This study provides insight into the interplay between these two indispensable signaling metabolites by establishing the mode of MEcPP action in altering auxin homeostasis, and as such, positioning plastidial function as the primary driver of adaptive growth.

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