Proper uptake and management of water is essential for plant growth and adaptation to stress. However, there are gaps in the understanding of the genetics of root hydraulics, including the regulatory components. Tang et al. used a genome-wide associate analysis approach to identify XYLEM NAC DOMAIN 1 (XND1), a key negative regulator of Arabidopsis root hydraulics. XND1 modulates root hydraulic conductivity through xylem formation and possibly aquaporin function. Tang and colleagues describe natural XND1 variants that have distinct functionalities and they identify a single nucleotide polymorphism that describes XND1 translation efficiency and XND1‘s natural variation. Finally, XND1 is found to mediate the inhibition of xylem formation by the bacterial elicitor flagellin and play a role in resisting Ralstonia solanacearum infections. This paper describes a novel negative regulator of Arabidopsis root hydraulics that has a role in both abiotic and biotic stress responses. (Summary by Julia Miller) Nat. Commun. 10.1038/s41467-018-06430-8
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