Dehydrocostus lactone, a naturally occurring polar auxin transport inhibitor, inhibits epicotyl growth by interacting with auxin in etiolated Pisum sativum seedlings

Yuta Toda, Kazuho Okada, Junichi Ueda, Kensuke Miyamoto


We have isolated germacranolide-type sesquiterpene lactones with an α-methylene-γ-lactone moiety, dehydrocostus lactone (DHCL), costunolide, santamarine, and a novel compound denoted artabolide [3-hydroxy-4,6,7(H)-germacra-1(10),11(13)-dien-6,12-olide] from oriental medicinal Asteraceae plants as novel naturally occurring inhibitors of polar auxin transport detected by the radish hypocotyl bioassay. To investigate the mode of action of natural sesquiterpene lactones on the inhibition of polar auxin transport as well as its relation to the growth of seedlings, the function of DHCL on growth and auxin dynamics in etiolated pea seedlings was studied intensively. DHCL reduced polar auxin transport in a dose-dependent manner together with the inhibition of the accumulation of mRNA of PsAUX1 and PsPIN1 genes encoding influx and efflux carrier proteins of auxin, respectively. DHCL applied to the apical hook region as a lanolin paste substantially inhibited elongation growth in the subapical region of epicotyls in intact etiolated pea seedlings, coupled with a significant reduction of endogenous levels of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). DHCL also revealed the inhibition of IAA-induced cell elongation in etiolated pea epicotyl segments by affecting IAA-induced changes in the mechanical properties of cell walls. These facts suggest that germacranolide-type sesquiterpene lactones with an α-methylene-γ-lactone moiety affect the expression of PsAUX1 and PsPINs genes, and then inhibit polar auxin transport and reduce endogenous levels of IAA necessary for stem growth in etiolated pea seedlings. These compounds are also suggested to show the inhibitory effects on auxin action in pea stem growth.


auxin; cell wall mechanical properties; endogenous IAA level; IAA-induced elongation; inhibitor; pea epicotyls; polar auxin transport

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