Auxin plays an important role in the modulation of root system architecture. The effect of salinity on primary root growth has been extensively studied. However, how salinity affects lateral root development and its underlying molecular mechanisms is still unclear. Here, we report that high salt exposure suppresses lateral root initiation and organogenesis, resulting in the abortion of lateral root development. In contrast, salt stress markedly promotes lateral root elongation. Histochemical staining showed that the quantity of auxin and its patterning in roots were both greatly altered by exposure to high concentrations of salt, as compared with those found in the untreated control. Physiological experiments using transport inhibitors and genetic analysis revealed that the auxin transport pathway is important for salt-induced root development. These results demonstrate that auxin transport activities are required for remodeling lateral root formation and elongation and for adaptive root system development under salt stress. Crown Copyright © 2009.
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