University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Plant Sciences Research Seminars > The CLV/RPK2 pathway is necessary for the transition from two to three-dimensional growth in moss

The CLV/RPK2 pathway is necessary for the transition from two to three-dimensional growth in moss

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The transition from colonizing two-dimensional space to growing three-dimensional aerial shoots was an evolutionary step that allowed for the diversity of form and function seen in land plants today. The moss Physcomitrella patens undergoes this same developmental switch as it transitions from filamentous to leafy shoot growth. This change in growth is representative of a change in the activity of stem cells, and while this decision is well characterized developmentally, its underlying genetic basis is unknown. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the size and identity of the stem cell population in the apical meristem is regulated by the CLV /RPK2 pathway which consists of the CLV3 CLE signaling peptide, the CLE receptors CLV1 , CLV2, and RPK2 , and the WUSCHEL -related homeobox (WOX) gene WUS . Homologs of each member of this module – CLEs, CLE -receptors, and WOX genes – are all found in Physcomitrella. Using a targeted knockout strategy, I have disrupted PpRPK2 function in physcomitrella. These plants are defective in their ability to form leafy shoots, but not filaments. This suggests an ancestral role for the CLV /RPK2 signaling pathway in regulating the ability of apical meristems to generate three-dimensional plant form.

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

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