Root hair size determines the surface area/volume ratio of the whole roots exposed to the nutrient and water pools, thereby likely impacting nutrient and water uptake rates. The speed at which they grow is determined both by cell-intrinsic factors like hormones (e.g., auxin) and external environmental signals like nutrient availability in the soil (e.g., phosphate). Overall root hair growth is controlled by the transcription factors RSL4 and RSL2. While high levels of auxin promote root hair growth, high levels of inorganic phosphate (Pi) in the media are able to strongly repress RSL4 and RSL2 expression linked to a decreased polar growth. In this work, we inquired the mechanism used by root hairs to integrate conflicting growth signals like the repressive signal of high Pi levels and a concomitant high auxin exposure that promotes growth and questioned whether these complex signals might activate known molecular players in root hair polar growth. Under these conditions, RSL2 expression (but not RSL4) is activated linked to ROS production and root hair growth. On the other hand, by blocking ROS production derived from the NADPH Oxidase C (or RBOHC for RESPIRATORY BURST OXIDASE HOMOLOG C) and ROS production from Secreted type-III Peroxidases (PERs), it was possible to repress the auxin growth-promoting effect. This study identifies a new layer of complexity between auxin, Pi nutrient availability and RSL2/RSL4 transcription factors all acting on ROS homeostasis and growth at the root hair level.
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