The difference between indeterminate and determinate growth in plants consists of the presence or absence of an active meristem in the fully developed organ. Determinate root growth implies that the root apical meristem (RAM) becomes exhausted. As a consequence, all cells in the root tip differentiate. This type of growth is widely found in roots of many angiosperm taxa and might have evolved as a developmental adaptation to water deficit (in desert Cactaceae), or low mineral content in the soil (proteoid roots in various taxa).
Scope and Conclusions
This review considers the mechanisms of determinate root growth to better understand how the RAM is maintained, how it functions, and the cellular and genetic bases of these processes. The role of the quiescent centre in RAM maintenance and exhaustion will be analysed. During root ageing, the RAM becomes smaller and its organization changes; however, it remains unknown whether every root is truly determinate in the sense that its RAM becomes exhausted before senescence. We define two types of determinate growth: constitutive where determinacy is a natural part of root development; and non-constitutive where determinacy is induced usually by an environmental factor. Determinate root growth is proposed to include two phases: the indeterminate growth phase, when the RAM continuously produces new cells; and the termination growth phase, when cell production gradually decreases and eventually ceases. Finally, new concepts regarding stem cells and a stem cell niche are discussed to help comprehend how the meristem is maintained in a broad taxonomic context.
Angiosperms; determinate root growth; indeterminate growth; meristem maintenance; quiescent centre; root apical meristem; root development; stem cells; stem cell niche
• Background and Aims The root apical meristems (RAM) of flowering plant roots are organized into recognizable pattern types. At present, there are no known ecological or physiological benefits to having one RAM organization type over another. Although there are phylogenetic distribution patterns in plant groups, the possible evolutionary advantages of different RAM organization patterns are not understood. Root caps of many flowering plant roots are known to release living border cells into the rhizosphere, where the cells are believed to have the capacity to alter conditions in the soil and to interact with soil micro-organisms. Consequently, high rates of border cell production may have the potential to benefit plant growth and development greatly, and to provide a selective advantage in certain soil environments. This study reports the use of several approaches to elucidate the anatomical and developmental relationships between RAM organization and border cell production.
• Methods RAM types from many species were compared with numbers of border cells released in those species. In addition, other species were grown, fixed and sectioned to verify their organization type and capacity to produce border cells. Root tips were examined microscopically to characterize their pattern and some were stained to determine the viability of root cap cells.
• Key Results The first report of a correlation between RAM organization type and the production and release of border cells is provided: species exhibiting open RAM organization produce significantly more border cells than species exhibiting closed apical organization. Roots with closed apical organization release peripheral root cap cells in sheets or large groups of dead cells, whereas root caps with open organization release individual living border cells.
• Conclusions This study, the first to document a relationship between RAM organization, root cap behaviour and a possible ecological benefit to the plant, may yield a framework to examine the evolutionary causes for the diversification of RAM organization types across taxa.
Border cells; root caps; root apical organization; root meristem
Background and Aims
Aside from those on Arabidopsis, very few studies have focused on spatial expression of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) in root apical meristems (RAMs), and, indeed, none has been undertaken for open meristems. The extent of interfacing between cell cycle genes and plant growth regulators is also an increasingly important issue in plant cell cycle studies. Here spatial expression/localization of an A-type and B-type CDK, auxin and cytokinins are reported in relation to the hitherto unexplored anatomy of RAMs of Cucurbita maxima.
Median longitudinal sections were cut from 1-cm-long primary root tips of C. maxima. Full-length A-type CDKs and a B-type CDK were cloned from C. maxima using degenerate primers, probes of which were localized on sections of RAMs using in situ hybridization. Isopentenyladenine (iPA), trans-zeatin (t-Z) and indole-3yl-acetic acid (IAA) were identified on sections by immunolocalization.
The C. cucurbita RAM conformed to an open transverse (OT) meristem typified by an absence of a clear boundary between the eumeristem and root cap columella, but with a distinctive longitudinally thickened epidermis. Cucma;CDKA;1 expression was detected strongly in the longitudinally thickened epidermis, a tissue with mitotic competence that contributes cells radially to the root cap of OT meristems. Cucma;CDKB2 was expressed mainly in proliferative regions of the RAM and in lateral root primordia. iPA and t-Z were mainly distributed in differentiated cells whilst IAA was distributed more uniformly in all tissues of the RAM.
Cucma;CDKA;1 was expressed most strongly in cells that have proliferative competence whereas Cucma;CDKB2 was confined mainly to mitotic cells. iPA and t-Z marked differentiated cells in the RAM, consistent with the known effect of cytokinins in promoting differentiation in root systems. iPA/t-Z were distributed in a converse pattern to Cucma;CDKB2 expression whereas IAA was detected in most cells in the RAM regardless of their proliferative potential.
Auxin; cytokinins; CDKs; Cucurbita maxima; root apical meristems
Background and Aims
Electric fields are an important environmental factor that can influence the development of plants organs. Such a field can either inhibit or stimulate root growth, and may also affect the direction of growth. Many developmental processes directly or indirectly depend upon the activity of the root apical meristem (RAM). The aim of this work was to examine the effects of a weak electric field on the organization of the RAM.
Roots of Zea mays seedlings, grown in liquid medium, were exposed to DC electric fields of different strengths from 0·5 to 1·5 V cm−1, with a frequency of 50 Hz, for 3 h. The roots were sampled for anatomical observation immediately after the treatment, and after 24 and 48 h of further undisturbed growth.
DC fields of 1 and 1·5 V cm−1 resulted in noticeable changes in the cellular pattern of the RAM. The electric field activated the quiescent centre (QC): the cells of the QC penetrated the root cap junction, disturbing the organization of the closed meristem and changing it temporarily into the open type.
Even a weak electric field disturbs the pattern of cell divisions in plant root meristem. This in turn changes the global organization of the RAM. A field of slightly higher strength also damages root cap initials, terminating their division.
Electric field; root apical meristem; quiescent centre; polar auxin transport; Zea mays
The effect of mechanical stress on the root apical meristem (RAM) organization of Zea mays was investigated. In the experiment performed, root apices were grown through a narrowing of either circular (variant I) or elliptical (variant II) shape. This caused a mechanical impedance distributed circumferentially or from the opposite sides in variant I and II, respectively. The maximal force exerted by the growing root in response to the impedance reached the value of 0.15 N for variant I and 0.08 N for variant II. Significant morphological and anatomical changes were observed. The changes in morphology depended on the variant and concerned diminishing and/or deformation of the cross-section of the root apex, and buckling and swelling of the root. Anatomical changes, similar in both variants, concerned transformation of the meristem from closed to open, an increase in the number of the cell layers at the pole of the root proper, and atypical oblique divisions of the root cap cells. After leaving the narrowing, a return to both typical cellular organization and morphology of the apex was observed. The results are discussed in terms of three aspects: the morphological response, the RAM reorganization, and mechanical factors. Assuming that the orientation of division walls is affected by directional cues of a tensor nature, the changes mentioned may indicate that a pattern of such cues is modified when the root apex passes through the narrowing, but its primary mode is finally restored.
Mechanical stress; root apical meristem organization; tiers of initials; Zea mays
Shoot branching is regulated by competition between branches to export the phytohormone auxin into the main stem. The phytohormone strigolactone balances shoot system growth by making auxin export harder to establish, thus modulating the auxin transport network.
Plants continuously extend their root and shoot systems through the action of meristems at their growing tips. By regulating which meristems are active, plants adjust their body plans to suit local environmental conditions. The transport network of the phytohormone auxin has been proposed to mediate this systemic growth coordination, due to its self-organising, environmentally sensitive properties. In particular, a positive feedback mechanism termed auxin transport canalization, which establishes auxin flow from active shoot meristems (auxin sources) to the roots (auxin sinks), has been proposed to mediate competition between shoot meristems and to balance shoot and root growth. Here we provide strong support for this hypothesis by demonstrating that a second hormone, strigolactone, regulates growth redistribution in the shoot by rapidly modulating auxin transport. A computational model in which strigolactone action is represented as an increase in the rate of removal of the auxin export protein, PIN1, from the plasma membrane can reproduce both the auxin transport and shoot branching phenotypes observed in various mutant combinations and strigolactone treatments, including the counterintuitive ability of strigolactones either to promote or inhibit shoot branching, depending on the auxin transport status of the plant. Consistent with this predicted mode of action, strigolactone signalling was found to trigger PIN1 depletion from the plasma membrane of xylem parenchyma cells in the stem. This effect could be detected within 10 minutes of strigolactone treatment and was independent of protein synthesis but dependent on clathrin-mediated membrane trafficking. Together these results support the hypothesis that growth across the plant shoot system is balanced by competition between shoot apices for a common auxin transport path to the root and that strigolactones regulate shoot branching by modulating this competition.
Plants can adapt their form to suit the environment in which they are growing. For example, genetically identical plants can develop as a single unbranched stem or as a highly ramified bush. This broad developmental potential is possible because the shoot system is produced continuously by growing tips, known as shoot meristems. Meristems produce the stem and leaves of a shoot, and at the base of each leaf, a new meristem is formed. This meristem can remain dormant as a small bud or activate to produce a branch. Thus, the shoot system is a community of shoot meristems, the combined activity and inactivity of which shape shoot form. Here we provide evidence that growth is balanced across the Arabidopsis shoot system by competition between the shoot meristems. This competition is likely mediated by the requirement of meristems to export the plant hormone auxin in order to activate bud outgrowth. In our model, auxin in the main stem, exported from active branches, can prevent auxin export by dormant buds, thus preventing their activation. Our findings show that a second hormone, strigolactone, increases the level of competition between branches by making auxin export harder to establish. Together, these hormones balance growth across the shoot system, adjusting it according to the environmental conditions in which a plant is growing.
Background and Aims
The root apical meristem (RAM) is the plant stem cell niche which provides for the formation and continuous development of the root. Auxin is the main regulator of RAM functioning, and auxin maxima coincide with the sites of RAM initiation and maintenance. Auxin gradients are formed due to local auxin biosynthesis and polar auxin transport. The PIN family of auxin transporters plays a critical role in polar auxin transport, and two mechanisms of auxin maximum formation in the RAM based on PIN-mediated auxin transport have been proposed to date: the reverse fountain and the reflected flow mechanisms.
The two mechanisms are combined here in in silico studies of auxin distribution in intact roots and roots cut into two pieces in the proximal meristem region. In parallel, corresponding experiments were performed in vivo using DR5::GFP Arabidopsis plants.
The reverse fountain and the reflected flow mechanism naturally cooperate for RAM patterning and maintenance in intact root. Regeneration of the RAM in decapitated roots is provided by the reflected flow mechanism. In the excised root tips local auxin biosynthesis either alone or in cooperation with the reverse fountain enables RAM maintenance.
The efficiency of a dual-mechanism model in guiding biological experiments on RAM regeneration and maintenance is demonstrated. The model also allows estimation of the concentrations of auxin and PINs in root cells during development and under various treatments. The dual-mechanism model proposed here can be a powerful tool for the study of several different aspects of auxin function in root.
Auxin response; root apical meristem; patterning; reverse fountain; reflected flow; mathematical model; Arabidopsis thaliana
Homeodomain proteins set up domains of gene expression during the development of animal and plant body plans. In plants, homeodomain proteins of the KNOX class I family have been shown to play a role in shoot apical meristem development. Recently, we have investigated the role of the Arabidopsis thaliana KNOX class II genes KNAT3, KNAT4 and KNAT5 in root development. These genes showed root domain and cell type specific expression patterns, and their expression was regulated by hormones that influence root growth. Moreover, sub-cellular localization of the KNAT proteins exhibited regulation, suggesting that post-transcriptional control contributes to KNOX class II protein activity. Our data provide a survey of KNAT gene expression in the root and indicate that the investigated KNAT genes might play distinct roles during root development.
homeodomain protein; root development; lateral root development; cytokinin; ethylene
The coordination of plant cell division and expansion controls plant morphogenesis, development, and growth. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are not only key regulators of cell division but also play an important role in cell differentiation. In plants, CDK activity is modulated by the binding of INHIBITOR OF CDK/KIP-RELATED PROTEIN (ICK/KRP). Previously, ICK2/KRP2 has been shown to mediate auxin responses in lateral root initiation. Here are analysed the roles of all ICK/KRP genes in root growth. Analysis of ick/krp null-mutants revealed that only ick3/krp5 was affected in primary root growth. ICK3/KRP5 is strongly expressed in the root apical meristem (RAM), with lower expression in the expansion zone. ick3/krp5 roots grow more slowly than wildtype controls, and this results not from reduction of division in the proliferative region of the RAM but rather reduced expansion as cells exit the meristem. This leads to shorter final cell lengths in different tissues of the ick3/krp5 mutant root, particularly the epidermal non-hair cells, and this reduction in cell size correlates with reduced endoreduplication. Loss of ICK3/KRP5 also leads to delayed germination and in the mature embryo ICK3/KRP5 is specifically expressed in the transition zone between root and hypocotyl. Cells in the transition zone were smaller in the ick3/krp5 mutant, despite the absence of endoreduplication in the embryo suggesting a direct effect of ICK3/KRP5 on cell growth. It is concluded that ICK3/KRP5 is a positive regulator of both cell growth and endoreduplication.
Arabidopsis; CDK; cell cycle; cell division; cell expansion; development; root growth
Plants maintain pools of totipotent stem cells throughout their entire life. These stem cells are embedded within specialized tissues called meristems, which form the growing points of the organism. The shoot apical meristem of the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana is subdivided into several distinct domains, which execute diverse biological functions, such as tissue organization, cell-proliferation and differentiation. The number of cells required for growth and organ formation changes over the course of a plants life, while the structure of the meristem remains remarkably constant. Thus, regulatory systems must be in place, which allow for an adaptation of cell proliferation within the shoot apical meristem, while maintaining the organization at the tissue level. To advance our understanding of this dynamic tissue behavior, we measured domain sizes as well as cell division rates of the shoot apical meristem under various environmental conditions, which cause adaptations in meristem size. Based on our results we developed a mathematical model to explain the observed changes by a cell pool size dependent regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation, which is able to correctly predict CLV3 and WUS over-expression phenotypes. While the model shows stem cell homeostasis under constant growth conditions, it predicts a variation in stem cell number under changing conditions. Consistent with our experimental data this behavior is correlated with variations in cell proliferation. Therefore, we investigate different signaling mechanisms, which could stabilize stem cell number despite variations in cell proliferation. Our results shed light onto the dynamic constraints of stem cell pool maintenance in the shoot apical meristem of Arabidopsis in different environmental conditions and developmental states.
CLE, which is the term for the CLV3/ESR-related gene family, is thought to participate in CLAVATA3-WUSCHEL (CLV3-WUS) and CLV3-WUS-like signaling pathways to regulate meristem activity in plant. Although some CLE genes are expressed in meristems, many CLE genes appear to express in a variety of tissues/cells. Here we report that CLE14 and CLE20 express in various specific tissues/cells outside the shoot/root apical meristem (SAM/RAM), including in highly differentiated cells, and at different developmental stages. Overexpressing CLE14 or CLE20 also causes multiple phenotypes, which is consistent with its expression pattern in Arabidopsis. These results suggest that CLE genes may play multiple roles and involve other signaling cascades in addition to the CLV3-WUS and CLV3-WUS-like pathways.
CLE; CLAVATA3-WUSCHEL; cell signaling and development; root apical meristem; arabidopsis
In plant roots, auxin is critical for patterning and morphogenesis. It regulates cell elongation and division, the development and maintenance of root apical meristems, and other processes. In Arabidopsis, auxin distribution along the central root axis has several maxima: in the root tip, in the basal meristem and at the shoot/root junction. The distal maximum in the root tip maintains the stem cell niche. Proximal maxima may trigger lateral or adventitious root initiation.
We propose a reflected flow mechanism for the formation of the auxin maximum in the root apical meristem. The mechanism is based on auxin's known activation and inhibition of expressed PIN family auxin carriers at low and high auxin levels, respectively. Simulations showed that these regulatory interactions are sufficient for self-organization of the auxin distribution pattern along the central root axis under varying conditions. The mathematical model was extended with rules for discontinuous cell dynamics so that cell divisions were also governed by auxin, and by another morphogen Division Factor which combines the actions of cytokinin and ethylene on cell division in the root. The positional information specified by the gradients of these two morphogens is able to explain root patterning along the central root axis.
We present here a plausible mechanism for auxin patterning along the developing root, that may provide for self-organization of the distal auxin maximum when the reverse fountain has not yet been formed or has been disrupted. In addition, the proximal maxima are formed under the reflected flow mechanism in response to periods of increasing auxin flow from the growing shoot. These events may predetermine lateral root initiation in a rhyzotactic pattern. Another outcome of the reflected flow mechanism - the predominance of lateral or adventitious roots in different plant species - may be based on the different efficiencies with which auxin inhibits its own transport in different species, thereby distinguishing two main types of plant root architecture: taproot vs. fibrous.
Background and Aims
Most studies of exodermal structure and function have involved species with a uniseriate exodermis. To extend this work, the development and apoplastic permeability of Iris germanica roots with a multiseriate exodermis (MEX) were investigated. The effects of different growth conditions on MEX maturation were also tested. In addition, the exodermises of eight Iris species were observed to determine if their mature anatomy correlated with habitat.
Plants were grown in soil, hydroponics (with and without a humid air gap) or aeroponics. Roots were sectioned and stained with various dyes to detect MEX development from the root apical meristem, Casparian bands, suberin lamellae and tertiary wall thickenings. Apoplastic permeability was tested using dye (berberine) and ionic (ferric) tracers.
The root apical meristem was open and MEX development non-uniform. In soil-grown roots, the exodermis started maturing (i.e. Casparian bands and suberin lamellae were deposited) 10 mm from the tip, and two layers had matured by 70 mm. In both hydro- and aeroponically grown roots, exodermal maturation was delayed. However, in areas of roots exposed to an air gap in the hydroponic system, MEX maturation was accelerated. In contrast, maturation of the endodermis was not influenced by the growth conditions. The mature MEX had an atypical Casparian band that was continuous around the root circumference. The MEX prevented the influx and efflux of berberine, but had variable resistance to ferric ions due to their toxic effects. Iris species living in well-drained soils developed a MEX, but species in water-saturated substrates had a uniseriate exodermis and aerenchyma.
MEX maturation was influenced by the roots' growth medium. The MEX matures very close to the root tip in soil, but much further from the tip in hydro- and aeroponic culture. The air gap accelerated maturation of the second exodermal layer. In Iris, the type of exodermis was correlated with natural habitat suggesting that a MEX may be advantageous for drought tolerance.
Iris germanica; roots; culture conditions; development; anatomy; apoplastic tracers; multiseriate exodermis; endodermis; root apical meristem
Entry into mitosis is regulated by cyclin dependent kinases that in turn are phosphoregulated. In most eukaryotes, phosphoregulation is through WEE1 kinase and CDC25 phosphatase. In higher plants a homologous CDC25 gene is unconfirmed and hence the mitotic inducer Schizosaccharomyces pombe (Sp) cdc25 has been used as a tool in transgenic plants to probe cell cycle function. Expression of Spcdc25 in tobacco BY-2 cells accelerates entry into mitosis and depletes cytokinins; in whole plants it stimulates lateral root production. Here we show, for the first time, that alterations to cytokinin and ethylene signaling explain the rooting phenotype elicited by Spcdc25 expression in Arabidopsis.
Expressing Spcdc25 in Arabidopsis results in increased formation of lateral and adventitious roots, a reduction of primary root width and more isodiametric cells in the root apical meristem (RAM) compared with wild type. Furthermore it stimulates root morphogenesis from hypocotyls when cultured on two way grids of increasing auxin and cytokinin concentrations. Microarray analysis of seedling roots expressing Spcdc25 reveals that expression of 167 genes is changed by > 2-fold. As well as genes related to stress responses and defence, these include 19 genes related to transcriptional regulation and signaling. Amongst these was the up-regulation of genes associated with ethylene synthesis and signaling. Seedlings expressing Spcdc25 produced 2-fold more ethylene than WT and exhibited a significant reduction in hypocotyl length both in darkness or when exposed to 10 ppm ethylene. Furthermore in Spcdc25 expressing plants, the cytokinin receptor AHK3 was down-regulated, and endogenous levels of iPA were reduced whereas endogeous IAA concentrations in the roots increased.
We suggest that the reduction in root width and change to a more isodiametric cell phenotype in the RAM in Spcdc25 expressing plants is a response to ethylene over-production. The increased rooting phenotype in Spcdc25 expressing plants is due to an increase in the ratio of endogenous auxin to cytokinin that is known to stimulate an increased rate of lateral root production. Overall, our data reveal important cross talk between cell division and plant growth regulators leading to developmental changes.
Background and Aims
Growth and reproductive strategies of plants are often related to particular, although usually poorly characterized, spatial distributions of shoots within the plant's architecture. In this study it is therefore hypothesized that a close relationship exists between architectural position, axis morphology (length, diameter, leaf area), and functional behaviour (branching, flowering and fruiting). The study focused on the architectural position of mango growth units, defined here as being the relative position, apical or lateral, on the parent growth unit, i.e. growing from the apical or a lateral meristem, respectively.
Stem length and leaf characteristics (area, dry weight) were measured on apical and lateral growth units of four mango cultivars over two years. Branching, flowering and fruiting were assessed for both growth unit types using an exhaustive description of tree vegetative and reproductive growth over two years. The relationships between growth unit diameter and flowering and fruiting were assessed for one of the four cultivars.
A pronounced morphological dimorphism was observed for the four cultivars. Across cultivars, stem length was significantly 1·31–1·34 times longer and total leaf area was 2·54–3·47 times larger in apical compared to lateral growth units. Apical growth units tended to branch, flower and fruit more than lateral growth units. The relationship between growth unit diameter and flowering rate was quadratic and dependent on growth unit position. The relationship between growth unit diameter and fruiting rate was linear and independent of growth unit position.
Morphological traits of mango growth units were clearly involved in the determinism of flowering and fruiting, although in different ways. The results, however, showed that current hypotheses of flowering, such as carbohydrate availability and florigenic promoters, are not sufficient in themselves if they neglect the hierarchical relationships between axes, i.e. their relative position, apical or lateral.
Axis dimorphism; branching; flowering; fruiting; growth unit; Mangifera indica; mango; Reunion Island
We investigated expression patterns of DNA repair genes such as the CPD photolyase, UV-DDB1, CSB, PCNA, RPA32 and FEN-1 genes by northern hybridization analysis and in situ hybridization using a higher plant, rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Nipponbare). We found that all the genes tested were expressed in tissues rich in proliferating cells, but only CPD photolyase was expressed in non-proliferating tissue such as the mature leaves and elongation zone of root. The removal of DNA damage, cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and (6–4) photoproducts, in both mature leaves and the root apical meristem (RAM) was observed after UV irradiation under light. In the dark, DNA damage in mature leaves was not repaired efficiently, but that in the RAM was removed rapidly. Using a rice 22K custom oligo DNA microarray, we compared global gene expression patterns in the shoot apical meristem (SAM) and mature leaves. Most of the excision repair genes were more strongly expressed in SAM. These results suggested that photoreactivation is the major DNA repair pathway for the major UV-induced damage in non-proliferating cells, while both photoreactivation and excision repair are active in proliferating cells.
The plant shoot apical meristem is established early during embryogenesis and subsequently gives rise to a shoot through reiterative generation of lateral organs and axillary meristems. In our recent manuscript we reported identification and characterization of a semi-dominant mutation in ribosomal protein RPL27a, which disrupts plant growth and shoot development.1 rpl27ac-1d effects on the shoot are evident from an early stage of embryo development. During embryogenesis rpl27-1d mutants are slow growing and are defective in apical patterning with a delay in establishment of the shoot meristem and outgrowth of cotyledons. Concomitant with this disturbed patterning, the shoot meristem genes SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM) and CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON2 (CUC2) are misexpressed in outer cell layers of the rpl27ac-1d embryo and there is a delay in expression of the organ-patterning gene FILAMENTOUS FLOWER (FIL). Genetic interactions between rpl27ac-1d and other ribosomal protein mutants indicates rpl27ac-1d has reduced ribosome function. Our results highlight a role for ribosomal proteins in growth and development and we propose that the ribosome regulates specific patterning events during development.
development; meristem; organ polarity; ribosomal protein
After primary growth, most dicotyledonous plants undergo secondary growth. Secondary growth involves an increase in the diameter of shoots and roots through formation of secondary vascular tissue. A hallmark of secondary growth initiation in shoots of dicotyledonous plants is the initiation of meristematic activity between primary vascular bundles, i.e. in the interfascicular regions. This results in establishment of a cylindrical meristem, namely the vascular cambium. Surprisingly, despite its major implications for plant growth and the accumulation of biomass, the molecular regulation of secondary growth is only poorly understood. Here, we combine histological, molecular and genetic approaches to characterize interfascicular cambium initiation in the Arabidopsis thaliana inflorescence shoot. Using genome-wide transcriptional profiling, we show that stress-related and touch-inducible genes are up-regulated in stem regions where secondary growth takes place. Furthermore, we show that the products of COI1, MYC2, JAZ7 and the touch-inducible gene JAZ10, which are components of the JA signalling pathway, are cambium regulators. The positive effect of JA application on cambium activity confirmed a stimulatory role of JA in secondary growth, and suggests that JA signalling triggers cell divisions in this particular context.
secondary growth; cambium; JAZ10/TIFY9/JAS1; jasmonate; mechanostimulation; lateral meristem
After primary growth, most dicotyledonous plants undergo secondary growth. Secondary growth represents an increase in the diameter of shoots and roots through the formation of secondary vascular tissue. A hallmark of secondary growth initiation in shoots of dicotyledonous plants is considered to be the initiation of meristematic activity between primary vascular bundles, the interfascicular regions. This results in the establishment of a cylindrical meristem, namely the vascular cambium. Surprisingly, in spite of its major implications for plant growth and the accumulation of biomass, its molecular regulation is only poorly understood. Here, we combine histological, molecular and genetic approaches to characterise interfascicular cambium (IC) initiation in the Arabidopsis thaliana inflorescence shoot. We show, by genome-wide transcriptional profiling, that stress-related and touch-inducible genes are up-regulated in stem regions initiating secondary growth. Furthermore, we show that COI1, MYC2, JAZ7 and the touch-inducible JAZ10, components of the JA signalling pathway, are cambium regulators. A positive effect of JA-application on cambium activity confirms a stimulatory role of JA in secondary growth and suggests that the JA signalling pathway represents a positive cue for initiating cell divisions in this particular context.
secondary growth; cambium; JAZ10/TIFY9/JAS1; jasmonate; mechanostimulation; lateral meristem
Plant-specific PIN-formed (PIN) efflux transporters for the plant hormone auxin are required for tissue-specific directional auxin transport and cellular auxin homeostasis. The Arabidopsis PIN protein family has been shown to play important roles in developmental processes such as embryogenesis, organogenesis, vascular tissue differentiation, root meristem patterning and tropic growth. Here we analyzed roles of the less characterised Arabidopsis PIN6 auxin transporter. PIN6 is auxin-inducible and is expressed during multiple auxin–regulated developmental processes. Loss of pin6 function interfered with primary root growth and lateral root development. Misexpression of PIN6 affected auxin transport and interfered with auxin homeostasis in other growth processes such as shoot apical dominance, lateral root primordia development, adventitious root formation, root hair outgrowth and root waving. These changes in auxin-regulated growth correlated with a reduction in total auxin transport as well as with an altered activity of DR5-GUS auxin response reporter. Overall, the data indicate that PIN6 regulates auxin homeostasis during plant development.
• Background and Aims Plant lateral organs such as leaves arise from a group of initial cells within the flanks of the shoot apical meristem (SAM). Alterations in the initiation of lateral organs are often associated with changes in the dimension and arrangement of the SAM as well as with abnormal hormonal homeostasis. A mutation named stem fasciated (stf) that affects various aspects of plant development, including SAM shape and auxin level, was characterized in sunflower (Helianthus annuus).
• Methods F1, F2 and F3 generations were obtained through reciprocal crosses between stf and normal plants. For the genetic analysis, a χ2 test was used. Phenotypic observations were made in field-grown and potted plants. A histological analysis of SAM, hypocotyl, epicotyl, stem and root apical meristem was also conducted. To evaluate the level of endogenous indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), a capillary gas chromatography–mass spectrometry–selected ion monitoring analysis was performed.
• Key Results stf is controlled by a single nuclear recessive gene. stf plants are characterized by a dramatically increased number of leaves and vascular bundles in the stem, as well as by a shortened plastochron and an altered phyllotaxis pattern. By histological analysis, it was demonstrated that the stf phenotype is related to an enlarged vegetative SAM. Microscopy analysis of the mutant's apex also revealed an abnormal enlargement of nuclei in both central and peripheral zones and a disorganized distribution of cells in the L2 layer of the central zone. The stf mutant showed a high endogenous free IAA level, whereas auxin perception appeared normal.
• Conclusions The observed phenotype and the high level of auxin detected in stf plants suggest that the STF gene is necessary for the proper initiation of primordia and for the establishment of a phyllotactic pattern through control of both SAM arrangement and hormonal homeostasis.
Helianthus annuus; auxin; fasciated mutant; hormonal homeostasis; phyllotaxis; shoot apical meristem
In this review, the anatomy of indeterminate legume root nodule is briefly summarized. Next, the indeterminate nodule meristem activity, organization and cell ultrastructure are described in species with a distinct nodule meristem zonation. Finally, the putative primary endogenous factors controlling nodule meristem maintenance are discussed in the context of the well-studied root apical meristem (RAM) of Arabidopsis thaliana.
Meristem maintenance; Stem cells; Rhizobia-legume symbiosis
Plants rely on the maintenance of stem cell niches at their apices for the continuous growth of roots and shoots. However, while the developmental plasticity of plant cells has been demonstrated1, it is not known whether the stem cell niche is required for organogenesis. Here we explore the capacity of a broad range of differentiating cells to regenerate an organ without the activity of a stem cell niche. Using a root-tip regeneration system in Arabidopsis to track the molecular and functional recovery of cell fates, we show that re-specification of lost cell identities begins within hours of excision and that the function of specialized cells is restored within one day. Critically, regeneration proceeds in plants with mutations that fail to maintain the stem cell niche. These results show that stem cell-like properties that mediate complete organ regeneration are dispersed in plant meristems and are not restricted to niches, which nonetheless appear necessary for indeterminate growth. This regenerative reprogramming of an entire organ without transition to a stereotypical stem cell environment has intriguing parallels to recent reports of induced transdifferentiation of specific cell types in the adult organs of animals2,3.
Plant hormones regulate many aspects of plant growth and development. Both auxin and cytokinin have been known for a long time to act either synergistically or antagonistically to control several significant developmental processes, such as the formation and maintenance of meristem. Over the past few years, exciting progress has been made to reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying the auxin–cytokinin action and interaction. In this review, we shall briefly discuss the major progress made in auxin and cytokinin biosynthesis, auxin transport, and auxin and cytokinin signaling. The frameworks for the complicated interaction of these two hormones in the control of shoot apical meristem and root apical meristem formation as well as their roles in in vitro organ regeneration are the major focus of this review.
Auxin; cytokinin; interaction; shoot meristem; root meristem; development
Cell division and cell fate decisions regulate organ formation and function in plant growth and development. It is still unclear how specific meristematic regulatory networks operate with the cell cycle machinery to translate stem cell identity and maintenance into cellular behavior. In this study, we address these questions by analysis of a shoot apex defective mutant, namely xcm9.
Phenotypic analysis of the xcm9 mutant reveals concomitant premature termination of floral shoots with frequent bifurcation of the shoot apices, stems, and flowers. Microscopic observations show irregular cell organization in shoot apical meristems of xcm9. Positional cloning revealed that xcm9 is a loss of function allele of the CCS52A2/FZR1 gene, which has previously been implicated in root development. Expression analysis demonstrated that CCS52A2 maintains a higher transcriptional expression level in actively dividing tissue. Genetic studies indicated that the CCS52A2 gene functions together with WUSCHEL (WUS) and CLAVATA3 (CLV3) in regulating the development of the shoot meristem, and also contributes to this regulation together with the chromatin remodeling pathway. In addition, fewer xcm9 cells express CYCLIN B1:1, showing that cell cycle progression is disrupted in the mutant.
We propose that the CCS52A2 gene is a mediator that functions together with meristematic genes to regulate meristem organization, and cross-functions with chromatin regulators in cell cycle progression during shoot apical meristem development.