Shoot branching (tillering) primarily determines plant shoot architecture and has been studied in many plants. Shoot branching is an important trait in non-heading Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. chinensis Makino). The B. rapa ssp. chinensis var. multiceps exhibits unique and multiple shoot branching characteristics. Here, we analyzed the variation in shoot branching between ‘Maertou,’ with multiple shoot branching, and ‘Suzhouqing,’ a common variety. The levels of endogenous indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), zeatin riboside and active gibberellins in the shoot meristem tissues of the two cultivars were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay during the vegetative growth stage. High levels of IAA maintained axillary bud dormancy and repressed axillary bud outgrowth allowing shoot branching to form in the vegetative stage in ‘Suzhouqing.’ In contrast, low levels of IAA did not inhibit axillary buds in ‘Maertou,’ while a high level of cytokinin promoted axillary bud growth and branch shoot development. Exogenous hormone (rac-GR24 and 6-benzylaminopurine) treatment showed that ‘Maertou’ was relatively sensitive to cytokinin, because the fold changes of cytokinin-responsive genes in ‘Maertou’ were significantly more frequent than those in ‘Suzhouqing’. Cytokinin was the direct regulator for axillary bud growth of ‘Maertou’. Compared with ‘Suzhouqing’, ‘Maertou’ was sensitive to cytokinin and this weakened the strigolactone–cytokinin branching pathway.
Journal of Plant Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 8, 2017
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