Editors' ChoicePlant biology

Controlling the Layout

Science's STKE  12 Jul 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 292, pp. tw257
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2922005tw257

Successful adaptation and evolution of land plants relied on the acquisition of the stomatal complex, which allows efficient gas exchange for photosynthesis and respiration while minimizing water loss. In the epidermis of higher plants, stomatal complexes differentiate nonrandomly from precursor cells through rounds of asymmetric division. Shpak et al. now find that three Arabidopsis ERECTA-family leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases, which are known to promote cell proliferation and organ growth, play overlapping but distinct roles to control stomatal patterning. The complexity of this signaling pathway illustrates how the interplay of moderate effects can lead to different outcomes in a developmental process.

E. D. Shpak, J. M. McAbee, L. J. Pillitteri, K. U. Torii, Stomatal patterning and differentiation by synergistic interactions of receptor kinases. Science 309, 290-293 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]