Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America ( IF 9.412 ) Pub Date : 2020-11-20 , DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2013305117 Shunsuke Watanabe, Naoki Takahashi, Yuri Kanno, Hiromi Suzuki, Yuki Aoi, Noriko Takeda-Kamiya, Kiminori Toyooka, Hiroyuki Kasahara, Ken-ichiro Hayashi, Masaaki Umeda, Mitsunori Seo
Active membrane transport of plant hormones and their related compounds is an essential process that determines the distribution of the compounds within plant tissues and, hence, regulates various physiological events. Here, we report that the Arabidopsis NITRATE TRANSPORTER 1/PEPTIDE TRANSPORTER FAMILY 7.3 (NPF7.3) protein functions as a transporter of indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), a precursor of the major endogenous auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). When expressed in yeast, NPF7.3 mediated cellular IBA uptake. Loss-of-function npf7.3 mutants showed defective root gravitropism with reduced IBA levels and auxin responses. Nevertheless, the phenotype was restored by exogenous application of IAA but not by IBA treatment. NPF7.3 was expressed in pericycle cells and the root tip region including root cap cells of primary roots where the IBA-to-IAA conversion occurs. Our findings indicate that NPF7.3-mediated IBA uptake into specific cells is required for the generation of appropriate auxin gradients within root tissues.