Controlling symmetric cell division in the Arabidopsis root

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office


Cell division is essential for generating material for growth and the potential for increasing complexity. Since plant cells do not migrate and rely instead on positional information to establish their identity, the orientation of the plane of division has a prominent role in plant development. Our system, the Arabidopsis root meristem, is ideal to study how the orientation of division planes is established because of its simple and regular organisation. It is the transient formation of the preprophase band (PPB), a ring of microtubules and actin filaments, which marks where the division plane will be positioned. Two genes control PPB formation: TON1 and TON2. We will manipulate in restricted spatial and temporal patterns the functions of these genes to study the behaviour of the orientations of cell division in the root epidermis. Through three-dimensional analysis we will investigate the role of cell geometry in determining positioning of the division plane and define rules that guide the process of cell division and test them against current and past experimental data.


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