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Tissue‐specific inactivation by cytosine deaminase/uracil phosphoribosyl transferase as a tool to study plant biology

Abstract : Recent advances in the study of plant developmental and physiological responses have benefited from tissue-specific approaches, revealing the role of some cell types in these processes. Such approaches have relied on the inactivation of target cells using either toxic compounds or deleterious genes; however, both tissue-specific and truly inducible tools are lacking in order to precisely target a developmental window or specific growth response. We engineered the yeast fluorocytosine deaminase (FCY1) gene by creating a fusion with the bacterial uracil phosphoribosyl transferase (UPP) gene. The recombinant protein converts the precursor 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC) into 5-fluorouracyl, a drug used in the treatment of a range of cancers, which triggers DNA and RNA damage. We expressed the FCY-UPP gene construct in specific cell types using enhancer trap lines and promoters, demonstrating that this marker acts in a cell-autonomous manner. We also showed that it can inactivate slow developmental processes like lateral root formation by targeting pericycle cells. It also revealed a role for the lateral root cap and the epidermis in controlling root growth, a faster response. The 5-FC precursor acts systemically, as demonstrated by its ability to inhibit stomatal movements when supplied to the roots in combination with a guard cell-specific promoter. Finally, we demonstrate that the tissular inactivation is reversible, and can therefore be used to synchronize plant responses or to determine cell type-specific functions during different developmental stages. This tool will greatly enhance our capacity to understand the respective role of each cell type in plant physiology and development.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 18, 2019 - 1:25:18 PM
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Nathalie Leonhardt, Fanchon Divol, Serge Chiarenza, Sabrina Deschamps, Jeanne Renaud, et al.. Tissue‐specific inactivation by cytosine deaminase/uracil phosphoribosyl transferase as a tool to study plant biology. Plant Journal, Wiley, 2020, 101 (3), pp.731-741. ⟨10.1111/tpj.14569⟩. ⟨cea-02363540⟩



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