Regulation of intercellular target of monopteros 7 protein transport in the arabidopsis root

Kuan Ju Lu, Bert De Rybel, Hilda Van Mourik, Dolf Weijers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Intercellular communication coordinates hypophysis establishment in the Arabidopsis embryo. Previously, TARGET OF MONOPTEROS 7 (TMO7) was reported to be transported to the hypophysis, the founder cell of the root cap, and RNA suppression experiments implicated its function in embryonic root development. However, the protein properties and mechanisms mediating TMO7 protein transport, and the role the movement plays in development remained unclear. Here, we report that in the post-embryonic root, TMO7 and its close relatives are transported into the root cap through plasmodesmata in a sequence-dependent manner. We also show that nuclear residence is crucial for TMO7 transport, and postulate that modification, potentially phosphorylation, labels TMO7 for transport. Additionally, three novel CRISPR/Cas9-induced tmo7 alleles confirmed a role in hypophysis division, but suggest complex redundancies with close relatives in root formation. Finally, we demonstrate that TMO7 transport is biologically meaningful, as local expression partially restores hypophysis division in a plasmodesmal protein transport mutant. Our study identifies motifs and amino acids that are pivotal for TMO7 protein transport, and establishes the importance of TMO7 in hypophysis and root development.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdev152892
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2018


  • Cell-cell communication
  • Embryogenesis
  • Plasmodesmata
  • Protein transport
  • RAM
  • TMO7

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