Investigations into the role of cGMP in mediating the effects of extracellular nucleotides on root hair growth in Arabidopsis thaliana



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The eATP pathway begins a cascade of events which includes the involvement of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and nitrate reductase (NR) in the production of nitric oxide (NO). Research has shown that SNAP (S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine) and NONOates (diazeniumdiolates) promote the availability of NO and, with the addition of guanylate cyclase, form cyclic guanine monophosphate (cGMP), and root hair growth is promoted. Phosphodiesterases (PDE) break down the cGMP and agents such as IBMX and Viagra inhibit the PDEs thereby inhibiting root hair growth. Several questions remain to be answered. How much cGMP is necessary for the promotion of root hair growth? Is there an optimal concentration of cGMP which stimulates root hair growth, above which is inhibitory, or below which is ineffective? Is there a “non-hydrolyzable analog” of cGMP which is more effective at promoting root hair growth? Is it possible to see inhibition of root hair growth with exposure to a known inhibitor, such as ATPγS, and then reverse the inhibition with a “non-hydrolyzable analog” of cGMP? Answering these vi questions is the substance of this research and the answers will provide direction and understanding to the growth-promoting and regulatory role eATP plays in signal transduction pathways in plants. With the hypothesis asking whether the effects of NO on root hair growth is cGMP-dependent or cGMP-independent we found that there is no consistent concentration of non-hydrolyzable cGMP analog which promotes root hair growth. Additionally we found that the 8-Br-cGMP analog promotes root hair growth more consistently in Arabidopsis thaliana than its counterpart, dibutyryl cGMP. We substantiated previously published results showing an inhibition of root hair growth when root hairs were exposed to high concentrations of ATPγS. Based on these results we believe the promotion of root hair growth in Arabidopsis thaliana to be mediated independently of cGMP.