Research ArticlePLANT SCIENCES

An epidermis-driven mechanism positions and scales stem cell niches in plants

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Science Advances  29 Jan 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 1, e1500989
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500989

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How molecular patterning scales to organ size is highly debated in developmental biology. We explore this question for the characteristic gene expression domains of the plant stem cell niche residing in the shoot apical meristem. We show that a combination of signals originating from the epidermal cell layer can correctly pattern the key gene expression domains and notably leads to adaptive scaling of these domains to the size of the tissue. Using live imaging, we experimentally confirm this prediction. The identified mechanism is also sufficient to explain de novo stem cell niches in emerging flowers. Our findings suggest that the deformation of the tissue transposes meristem geometry into an instructive scaling and positional input for the apical plant stem cell niche.

  • Stem cells
  • Shoot apical meristem
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Computational Morphodynamics

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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