The specification of distinct cell fates in multicellular organisms is a fundamental process in developmental biology. The Arabidopsis root epidermis, which consists of root-hair cells and non-hair cells, provides a useful model system for studying cell fate specification. In this tissue, the cell fates are determined by their relative position to the underlying cortical cells, and many genes have been identified that regulate this position-dependent cell fate specification. Recent studies using genetic, molecular, and biochemical approaches have shed new light on this process and revealed a complex network of interacting and interdependent components. In particular, a novel regulatory circuit has recently been identified, which includes a lateral inhibition pathway and a feedback loop that enables intercellular communication and ensures that two distinct cell types arise in an appropriate pattern. This regulatory circuit is also influenced by a positional signaling pathway which includes the SCRAMBLED leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase. The studies of cell fate specification in the Arabidopsis root epidermis provide new insights into the molecular strategies used to define distinct cell types in plants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology