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A genetic screen for mutants defective in IAA1-LUC degradation in Arabidopsis thaliana reveals an important requirement for TOPOISOMERASE6B in auxin physiology

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Many plant growth and developmental processes are modulated by the hormone auxin. Auxin-modulated proteolysis of Aux/IAAs, a family of transcriptional repressors, represents a major mode of auxin action. Auxin facilitates the interaction of Aux/IAAs with TIR1/AFB F-box proteins, promoting their ubiquitination by the SCF(TIR1/AFB) ubiquitin E3 ligase leading to subsequent degradation by the 26S proteasome. To identify new genes regulating Aux/IAA proteolysis in Arabidopsis thaliana, we took a genetic approach, identifying individuals with altered degradation of an IAA1-luciferase fusion protein (IAA1-LUC). A mutant with 2-fold slower IAA1-LUC degradation rate compared with wild-type was isolated. Positional cloning identified the mutant as an allele of TOPOISOMERASE6B, named top6b-7. TOP6B encodes a subunit of a plant and archea-specific enzyme regulating endoreduplication, DNA damage repair and transcription in plants. T-DNA insertion alleles (top6b-8 and top6b-9) were also analyzed. top6b-7 seedlings are less sensitive to exogenous auxin than wild-type siblings in primary root growth assays, and experiments with DR5:GUS. Additionally, top6b-7 seedlings have a 40% reduction in the amount of endogenous IAA. These data suggest that increased IAA1-LUC half-life in top6b-7 probably results from a combination of both lower endogenous IAA levels and reduced sensitivity to auxin.

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