Adaptation of plants to environmental conditions requires that sensing of external stimuli be linked to mechanisms of morphogenesis. The Arabidopsis TCH (for touch) genes are rapidly upregulated in expression in response to environmental stimuli, but a connection between this molecular response and developmental alterations has not been established. We identified TCH4 as a xyloglucan endotransglycosylase by sequence similarity and enzyme activity. Xyloglucan endotransglycosylases most likely modify cell walls, a fundamental determinant of plant form. We determined that TCH4 expression is regulated by auxin and brassinosteroids, by environmental stimuli, and during development, by a 1-kb region. Expression was restricted to expanding tissues and organs that undergo cell wall modification. Regulation of genes encoding cell wall-modifying enzymes, such as TCH4, may underlie plant morphogenetic responses to the environment.
- Amino Acid Sequence Arabidopsis/drug effects/*enzymology/*genetics Base Sequence DNA Primers/genetics DNA, Plant/genetics Gene Expression Regulation, Plant/drug effects *Genes, Plant Glycosyltransferases/*genetics/physiology Indoleacetic Acids/pharmacology Molecular Sequence Data Multigene Family Plant Growth Regulators/pharmacology Sequence Homology, Amino Acid