Xu D, Hanschen FS, Witzel K, Nintemann SJ, Nour-Eldin HH, Schreiner M, Halkier BA (2016) Rhizosecretion of stele-synthesized glucosinolates and their catabolites requires GTR-mediated import in Arabidopsis. J Exp Bot.
Casparian strip-generated apoplastic barriers not only control the radial flow of both water and ions but may also constitute a hindrance for the rhizosecretion of stele-synthesized phytochemicals. Here, we establish root-synthesized glucosinolates (GLS) are in Arabidopsis as a model to study the transport routes of plant-derived metabolites from the site of synthesis to the rhizosphere. Analysing the expression of GLS synthetic genes in the root indicate that the stele is the major site for the synthesis of aliphatic GLS, whereas indole GLS can be synthesized in both the stele and the cortex. Sampling root exudates from the wild type and the double mutant of the GLS importers GTR1 and GTR2 show that GTR-mediated retention of stele-synthesized GLS is a prerequisite for the exudation of both intact GLS and their catabolites into the rhizosphere. The expression of the GTRs inside the stele, combined with the previous observation that GLS are exported from biosynthetic cells, suggest three possible routes of stele-synthesized aliphatic GLS after their synthesis: (i) GTR-dependent import to cells symplastically connected to the cortical cells and the rhizosphere; (ii) GTR-independent transport via the xylem to the shoot; and (iii) GTR-dependent import to GLS-degrading myrosin cells at the cortex. The study suggests a previously undiscovered role of the import process in the rhizosecretion of root-synthesized phytochemicals.