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Root branching toward water involves posttranslational modification of transcription factor ARF7

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Science  21 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6421, pp. 1407-1410
DOI: 10.1126/science.aau3956

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Rooting out the mechanism of asymmetry

Plant roots grow not in response to architectural blueprints but rather in search of scarce resources in the soil. Orosa-Puente et al. show why a new lateral root emerges on the damp side of a root rather than the dry side (see the Perspective by Giehl and von Wirén). The transcription factor ARF7 is found across the whole root but acquires a posttranslational modification on the dry side of the root, which represses its function. ARF7 on the damp side remains functional and is thus able to initiate the signaling cascade that leads to a new lateral root.

Science, this issue p. 1407; see also p. 1358

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