Root Regeneration Triggers an Embryo-like Sequence Guided by Hormonal Interactions

Idan Efroni, Alison Mello, Tal Nawy, Pui Leng Ip, Ramin Rahni, Nicholas Delrose, Ashley Powers, Rahul Satija, Kenneth D. Birnbaum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

194 Scopus citations


Plant roots can regenerate after excision of their tip, including the stem cell niche. To determine which developmental program mediates such repair, we applied a combination of lineage tracing, single-cell RNA sequencing, and marker analysis to test different models of tissue reassembly. We show that multiple cell types can reconstitute stem cells, demonstrating the latent potential of untreated plant cells. The transcriptome of regenerating cells prior to stem cell activation resembles that of an embryonic root progenitor. Regeneration defects are more severe in embryonic than in adult root mutants. Furthermore, the signaling domains of the hormones auxin and cytokinin mirror their embryonic dynamics and manipulation of both hormones alters the position of new tissues and stem cell niche markers. Our findings suggest that plant root regeneration follows, on a larger scale, the developmental stages of embryonic patterning and is guided by spatial information provided by complementary hormone domains.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1721-1733
Number of pages13
Issue number7
StatePublished - 16 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


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