University of Cambridge > > Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars > Getting under the skin: How do plants generate and maintain an effective epidermis?

Getting under the skin: How do plants generate and maintain an effective epidermis?

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The epidermal cells of plants fulfil a multitude of extremely diverse functions and consequently demonstrate a plethora of morphological and physiological traits. Despite this diversity, the ‘basal’ function of the epidermis as a protective yet interactive interface with the environment, requires the majority of epidermal tissues to show one major feature; continuity. However, although the maintenance of an unbroken epidermal cell layer across the plant surface is critical to plant survival, neither the signalling pathways which control the acquisition and maintenance of “basal” epidermal identity, nor the mechanisms regulating the growth of the epidermal cell layer, are well understood. Our recent work, and the work of several other groups, has identified factors which are required both for epidermal specification during early embryogenesis, and for the maintenance of both epidermal identity and integrity later in plant development. I will discuss this work with particular reference to the important question of how epidermal development is co-ordinated with the development of underlying tissues to produce biologically efficient plant organs.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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