A light-sensitive mutation in Arabidopsis LEW3 reveals the important role of N-glycosylation in root growth and development.

Plant roots have the potential capacity to grow almost indefinitely if meristematic and lateral branching is sustained. In a genetic screen we identified an Arabidopsis mutant showing limited root growth (lrg1) due to defects in cell division and elongation in the root meristem. Positional cloning determined that lrg1 affects an alpha-1,2-mannosyltransferase gene, LEW3, involved in protein N-glycosylation. The lrg1 mutation causes a synonymous substitution that alters the correct splicing of the fourth intron in LEW3, causing a mix of wild-type and truncated protein. LRG1 RNA missplicing in roots and short root phenotypes in lrg1 are light-intensity dependent. This mutation disrupts a GC-base pair in a three-base-pair stem with a four-nucleotide loop, which seems to be necessary for correct LEW3 RNA splicing. We found that the lrg1 short root phenotype correlates with high levels of reactive oxygen species and low pH in the apoplast. Proteomic analyses of N-glycosylated proteins identified GLU23/PYK10 and PRX34 as N-glycosylation targets of LRG1 activity. The lrg1 mutation reduces the positive interaction between Arabidopsis and Serendipita indica. A prx34 mutant showed a significant reduction in root growth, which is additive to lrg1. Taken together our work highlights the important role of N-glycosylation in root growth and development.