Genetics of Shoot Meristem and Shoot Regeneration

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25 Scopus citations


Plants exhibit remarkable lineage plasticity, allowing them to regenerate organs that differ from their respective origins. Such developmental plasticity is dependent on the activity of pluripotent founder cells or stem cells residing in meristems. At the shoot apical meristem (SAM), the constant flow of cells requires continuing cell specification governed by a complex genetic network, with the WUSCHEL transcription factor and phytohormone cytokinin at its core. In this review, I discuss some intriguing recent discoveries that expose new principles and mechanisms of patterning and cell specification acting both at the SAM and prior to meristem organogenesis during shoot regeneration. I also highlight unanswered questions and future challenges in the study of SAM and meristem regeneration. Finally, I put forward a model describing stochastic events mediated by epigenetic factors to explain how the gene regulatory network might be initiated at the onset of shoot regeneration.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)661-681
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Genetics
StatePublished - 2021

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  • callus
  • cytokinin
  • developmental plasticity
  • stem cell
  • tissue culture


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