PIN‐FORMED is required for shoot phototropism/gravitropism and facilitates meristem formation in Marchantia polymorpha

Fisher TJ, Flores‐Sandoval E, Alvarez JP and Bowman JL

New Phytologist


  • PIN-FORMED auxin efflux transporters, a subclass of which is plasma-membrane-localized, mediate a variety of land plant developmental processes via their polar localization and subsequent directional auxin transport. We provide the first characterization of PIN proteins in liverworts using Marchantia polymorpha as a model system. M. polymorpha possesses a single PIN-FORMED gene, whose protein product is predicted to be plasma-membrane-localized, MpPIN1.
  • To characterise MpPIN1, we created loss-of-function alleles and produced complementation lines in both M. polymorpha and Arabidopsis. In M. polymorpha, gene expression and protein localisation were tracked using an MpPIN1 transgene encoding a translationally fused fluorescent protein.
  • Overexpression of MpPIN1 can partially complement loss of an orthologous gene, PIN-FORMED1, in Arabidopsis. In M. polymorpha, MpPIN1 influences development in numerous ways throughout its life cycle. Most notably, MpPIN1 is required to establish gemmaling dorsiventral polarity and for orthotropic growth of gametangiophore stalks, where MpPIN1 is basally polarized.
  • PIN activity is largely conserved within land plants, with PIN mediated auxin flow providing a flexible mechanism to organise growth. Specifically, PIN is fundamentally linked to orthotropism and to the establishment of de-novo meristems, the latter potentially involving the formation of both auxin biosynthesis maxima and auxin signalling minima.