CEP3 levels affect starvation-related growth responses of the primary root

Christina Delay, Kelly Chapman, Michael Taleski, Yaowei Wang, Sonika Tyagi, Yan Xiong, Nijat Imin, Michael A. Djordjevic

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CEPs (C-TERMINALLY ENCODED PEPTIDEs) inhibit Arabidopsis primary root growth by unknown mechanisms. We investigated how CEP3 levels control primary root growth. CEP3 peptide application decreased cell division, S-phase cell number, root meristematic cell number, and meristem zone (MZ) size in a dose- A nd CEP RECEPTOR1-dependent manner. Grafting showed that CEP3-dependent growth inhibition requires root and shoot CEPR1. CEP3 induced mitotic quiescence in MZ cells significantly faster than that induced by nutrient limitation alone. CEP3 also inhibited the restoration of S-phase to mitotically quiescence cells by nutrient resupply without quantitatively reducing TARGET OF RAPAMYCIN (TOR) kinase activity. In contrast, cep3-1 had an increased meristem size and S-phase cell number under nitrogen (N)-limited conditions, but not under N-sufficient conditions. Furthermore, cep3-1 meristematic cells remained in S-phase longer than wild-type cells during a sustained carbon (C) and N limitation. RNA sequencing showed that CEP3 peptide down-regulated genes involved in S-phase entry, cell wall and ribosome biogenesis, DNA replication, and meristem expansion, and up-regulated genes involved in catabolic processes and proteins and peptides that negatively control meristem expansion and root growth. Many of these genes were reciprocally regulated in cep3-1. The results suggest that raising CEP3 induces starvation-related responses that curtail primary root growth under severe nutrient limitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4763-4773
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Amino acid catabolism
  • carbon limitation
  • cell cycle
  • CEP
  • CEPR1
  • nitrogen limitation
  • peptide hormone
  • primary root growth
  • TOR

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