AtPIN4 mediates sink-driven auxin gradients and root patterning in Arabidopsis
In contrast to animals, little is known about pattern formation in plants. Physiological and genetic data suggest the involvement of the phytohormone auxin in this process. Here, we characterize a novel member of the PIN family of putative auxin efflux carriers,Arabidopsis PIN4, that is localized in developing and mature root meristems. Atpin4 mutants are defective in establishment and maintenance of endogenous auxin gradients, fail to canalize externally applied auxin, and display various patterning defects in both embryonic and seedling roots. We propose a role for AtPIN4 in generating a sink for auxin below the quiescent center of the root meristem that is essential for auxin distribution and patterning.