Precise control of plant stem cell activity through parallel regulatory inputs
Bennett, T. ; Toorn, A. van; Willemsen, V. ; Scheres, B. - \ 2014
Development 141 (2014). - ISSN 0950-1991 - p. 4055 - 4064.
arabidopsis-thaliana root - transcription factor - shoot apex - meristem - gene - differentiation - organization - maintenance - homeostasis - sombrero
The regulation of columella stem cell activity in the Arabidopsis root cap by a nearby organizing centre, the quiescent centre, has been a key example of the stem cell niche paradigm in plants. Here, we investigate interactions between transcription factors that have been shown to regulate columella stem cells using a simple quantification method for stem cell activity in the root cap. Genetic and expression analyses reveal that the RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED protein, the FEZ and SOMBRERO NAC-domain transcription factors, the ARF10 and ARF16 auxin response factors and the quiescent centre-expressed WOX5 homeodomain protein each provide independent inputs to regulate the number of columella stem cells. Given the tight control of columella development, we found that these inputs act in a surprisingly parallel manner. Nevertheless, important points of interaction exist; for example, we demonstrate the repression of SMB activity by non-autonomous action of WOX5. Our results suggest that the developmental progression of columella stem cells may be quantitatively regulated by several more broadly acting transcription factors rather than by a single intrinsic stem cell factor, which raises questions about the special nature of the stem cell state in plants.