Plant Physiol. 179 (1) 280-299 [2019-01-00; online 2018-11-12]
Auxin controls body plan patterning in land plants and has been proposed to play a similar role in the development of brown algae (Phaeophyta) despite their distant evolutionary relationship with land plants. The mechanism of auxin action in brown algae remains controversial because of contradicting conclusions derived from pharmacological studies on Fucus In this study, we used Dictyotadichotoma as a model system to show that auxin plays a role during the apical-basal patterning of the embryo of brown algae. Indole-3-acetic acid was detectable in D. dichotoma germlings and mature tissue. Although two-celled D. dichotoma zygotes normally develop a rhizoid from one pole and a thallus meristem from the other, addition of exogenous auxins to one-celled embryos affected polarization, and both poles of the spheroidal embryo developed into rhizoids instead. The effect was strongest at lower pH and when variable extrinsic informational cues were applied. 2-[4-(diethylamino)-2-hydroxybenzoyl]benzoic acid, an inhibitor of the ABC-B/multidrug resistance/P-glycoprotein subfamily of transporters in land plants, affected rhizoid formation by increasing rhizoid branching and inducing ectopic rhizoids. An in silico survey of auxin genes suggested that a diverse range of biosynthesis genes and transport genes, such as PIN-LIKES, and the ATP-binding cassette subfamily (ABC-B/multidrug resistance/P-glycoprotein) transporters from land plants have homologs in D. dichotoma and Ectocarpus siliculosus Together with reports on auxin function in basal lineages of green algae, these results suggest that auxin function predates the divergence between the green and brown lineage and the transition toward land plants.