When cucumber seedlings are grown horizontally, a specialized protuberance, termed the peg, develops on the lower side of the transition zone between the hypocotyl and the root. Gravimorphogenesis regulates the lateral positioning of the peg in the transition zone and it has been suggested that auxin plays an important role in peg formation in cucumber seedlings. Here, we found that light inhibited auxin-regulated peg formation. In the transition zone of horizontally positioned cucumber seedlings grown in the dark, we detected an asymmetric accumulation of mRNA from the auxin-inducible gene CsIAA1 in the epidermis and cortex. However, in seedlings grown under illumination, this asymmetry was greatly reduced. In dark- and light-grown seedlings, application of 10 -3 M indole-3-acetic acid induced peg formation on both the lower and upper sides of the transition zone. These results suggest that light inhibits peg formation via modification of auxin distribution and/or levels in the transition zone of cucumber seedlings.
- Auxin-inducible gene