Temporal Control of Morphogenic Factor Expression Determines Efficacy in Enhancing Regeneration
Background: Regeneration of fertile plants from tissue culture is a critical bottleneck in the application of new plant breeding technologies. Ectopic overexpression of morphogenic factors is a promising workaround for this hurdle. Methods: Conditional overexpression of WUS and ARF5Δ was used to study the effect of timing the overexpression of these morphogenic factors during shoot regeneration from root explants in Arabidopsis. In addition, their effect on auxin-signaling activation was examined by visualization and cytometric quantification of the DR5:GFP auxin-signaling reporter in roots and protoplasts, respectively. Results: The induced expression of both WUS and ARF5Δ led to an activation of auxin signaling in roots. Activation of auxin signaling by WUS and ARF5Δ was further quantified by transient transformation of protoplasts. Ectopic overexpression of both WUS and ARF5Δ enhanced regeneration efficiency, but only during the shoot-induction stage of regeneration and not during the callus-induction stage. Conclusions: The overexpression of WUS and ARF5Δ both lead to activation of auxin signaling. Expression during the shoot-induction stage is critical for the enhancement of shoot regeneration by WUS and ARF5Δ.