A Role for Brassinosteroid Signaling in Decision-Making Processes

PLOS Genetics, 2024;18(4):e1010541

Authors: Nils Kalbfuß, Alexander Strohmayr, Marcel Kegel, Lien Le, Friederike Grosseholz, Barbara Brunschweiger, Katharina Stöckl, Christian Wiese, Carina Franke, Caroline Schiestl, Sophia Prem, Shuyao Sha, Katrin Franz-Oberdorf, Juliane Hafermann, Marc Thiemé, Eva Facher, Wojciech Palubicki, Cordelia Bolle, Farhah F. Assaad


Plants often adapt to adverse conditions via differential growth, whereby limited resources are discriminately allocated to optimize the growth of one organ at the expense of another. Little is known about the decision-making processes that underlie differential growth. In this study, we developed a screen to identify decision-making mutants by deploying two tools that have been used in decision theory: a well-defined yet limited budget, as well as conflict-of-interest scenarios. A forward genetic screen that combined light and water withdrawal was carried out. This identified BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 2 (BIN2) alleles as decision mutants with “confused” phenotypes. An assessment of organ and cell length suggested that hypocotyl elongation occurred predominantly via cellular elongation. In contrast, root growth appeared to be regulated by a combination of cell division and cell elongation or exit from the meristem. Brassinosteroid signaling mutants were most severely impaired in their ability to adjust cell geometry in the hypocotyl and cell elongation as a function of distance from the quiescent centre in the root tips. This study describes a novel paradigm for root growth under limiting conditions, which depends not only on hypocotyl-versus-root trade-offs in the allocation of limited resources but also on an ability to deploy different strategies for root growth in response to multiple stress conditions.




  author    = {N. Kalbfuß, A. Strohmayr, M. Kegel, L. Le, F. Grosseholz, B. Brunschweiger, K. Stöckl, C. Wiese, C. Franke, C. Schiestl, S. Prem, S. Sha, K. Franz-Oberdorf, J. Hafermann, M. Thiemé, E. Facher, W. Palubicki, C. Bolle, F. F. Assaad},
  title     = {A Role for Brassinosteroid Signaling in Decision-Making Processes},
  journal   = {PLOS Genetics},
  year      = {2024},
  volume    = {},
  number    = {},
  doi       = {10.1371/journal.pgen.1010541},
  publisher = {Public Library of Science},
  address   = {San Francisco, CA, USA}