[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has long intrigued researchers why some but not all organisms can regenerate missing body parts. Plants are remarkable in that they can regenerate the entire organism from a small piece of tissue, or even a single cell. Epigenetic mechanisms that control chromatin organization are now known to regulate the cellular plasticity and reprogramming necessary for regeneration. Interestingly, although animals and plants have evolved different strategies and mechanisms to control developmental processes, they have maintained many similarities in the way they regulate chromatin organization. Given that plants can rapidly switch fate, we propose that an understanding of the mechanisms regulating this process in plant cells could provide a new perspective on cellular dedifferentiation in animals.
Trends in cell biology 04/2007; 17(3):101-6. · 12.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many types of plant cell retain their developmental plasticity and have the capacity to switch fate when exposed to a new source of positional information. In the root epidermis of Arabidopsis, cells differentiate in alternating files of hair cells and non-hair cells, in response to positional information and the activity of the homoeodomain transcription factor GLABRA2 (GL2) in future non-hair cells. Here we show by three-dimensional fluorescence in situ hybridization on intact root epidermal tissue that alternative states of chromatin organization around the GL2 locus are required to control position-dependent cell-type specification. When, as a result of an atypical cell division, a cell is displaced from a hair file into a non-hair file, it switches fate. We show that during this event the chromatin state around the GL2 locus is not inherited, but is reorganized in the G1 phase of the cell cycle in response to local positional information. This ability to remodel chromatin organization may provide the basis for the plasticity in plant cell fate changes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidermal cells in the root of Arabidopsis seedling differentiate either as hair or non-hair cells, while in the hypocotyl they become either stomatal or elongated cells. WEREWOLF (WER) and GLABRA2 (GL2) are positive regulators of non-hair and elongated cell development. CAPRICE (CPC) is a positive regulator of hair cell development in the root. We show that WER, GL2 and CPC are expressed and active during the stages of embryogenesis when the pattern of cells in the epidermis of the root-hypocotyl axis forms. GL2 is first expressed in the future epidermis in the heart stage embryo and its expression is progressively restricted to those cells that will acquire a non-hair identity in the transition between torpedo and mature stage. The expression of GL2 at the heart stage requires WER function. WER and CPC are transiently expressed throughout the root epidermal layer in the torpedo stage embryo when the cell-specific pattern of GL2 expression is being established in the epidermis. We also show that WER positively regulates CPC transcription and GL2 negatively regulates WER transcription in the mature embryo. We propose that the restriction of GL2 to the future non-hair cells in the root epidermis can be correlated with the activities of WER and CPC during torpedo stage. In the embryonic hypocotyl we show that WER controls GL2 expression. We also provide evidence indicating that CPC may also regulate GL2 expression in the hypocotyl.
Development 08/2003; 130(13):2893-901. · 6.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell expansion is a central process in plant morphogenesis, and the elongation of roots and root hairs is essential for uptake of minerals and water from the soil. Ca2+ influx from the extracellular store is required for (and sets the rates of) cell elongation in roots. Arabidopsis thaliana rhd2 mutants are defective in Ca2+ uptake and consequently cell expansion is compromised--rhd2 mutants have short root hairs and stunted roots. To determine the regulation of Ca2+ acquisition in growing root cells we show here that RHD2 is an NADPH oxidase, a protein that transfers electrons from NADPH to an electron acceptor leading to the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We show that ROS accumulate in growing wild-type (WT) root hairs but their levels are markedly decreased in rhd2 mutants. Blocking the activity of the NADPH oxidase with diphenylene iodonium (DPI) inhibits ROS formation and phenocopies Rhd2-. Treatment of rhd2 roots with ROS partly suppresses the mutant phenotype and stimulates the activity of plasma membrane hyperpolarization-activated Ca2+ channels, the predominant root Ca2+ acquisition system. This indicates that NADPH oxidases control development by making ROS that regulate plant cell expansion through the activation of Ca2+ channels.