PIN6 is required for nectary auxin response and short stamen development

Ricci L. Bender, Megan L. Fekete, Peter M. Klinkenberg, Marshall Hampton, Brittany Bauer, Matthew Malecha, Khrystyne Lindgren, Jennifer A. Maki, M. Ann D.N. Perera, Basil J. Nikolau, Clay J. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The PIN family of proteins is best known for its involvement in polar auxin transport and tropic responses. PIN6 (At1g77110) is one of the remaining PIN family members in Arabidopsis thaliana to which a biological function has not yet been ascribed. Here we report that PIN6 is a nectary-enriched gene whose expression level is positively correlated with total nectar production in Arabidopsis, and whose function is required for the proper development of short stamens. PIN6 accumulates in internal membranes consistent with the ER, and multiple lines of evidence demonstrate that PIN6 is required for auxin-dependent responses in nectaries. Wild-type plants expressing auxin-responsive DR5:GFP or DR5:GUS reporters displayed intense signal in lateral nectaries, but pin6 lateral nectaries showed little or no signal for these reporters. Further, exogenous auxin treatment increased nectar production more than tenfold in wild-type plants, but nectar production was not increased in pin6 mutants when treated with auxin. Conversely, the auxin transport inhibitor N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA) reduced nectar production in wild-type plants by more than twofold, but had no significant effect on pin6 lines. Interestingly, a MYB57 transcription factor mutant, myb57-2, closely phenocopied the loss-of-function mutant pin6-2. However, PIN6 expression was not dependent on MYB57, and RNA-seq analyses of pin6-2 and myb57-2 mutant nectaries showed little overlap in terms of differentially expressed genes. Cumulatively, these results demonstrate that PIN6 is required for proper auxin response and nectary function in Arabidopsis. These results also identify auxin as an important factor in the regulation of nectar production, and implicate short stamens in the maturation of lateral nectaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-904
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Arabidopsis
  • MYB57
  • PIN6
  • nectar
  • nectaries
  • nectary

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