Editors' ChoicePlant biology

Make Way for the Emerging Rootlet

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Sci. Signal.  14 Jan 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 308, pp. ec12
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005061

Plant cells are immobilized by their rigid cells walls, and the root endodermal cell layer maintains an impervious perimeter seal made of an indigestible irregular polymer. Despite these mechanical obstacles, lateral root primordia, which initiate in the deep layers of the root, manage to break through to the surface. Vermeer et al. used live-tissue imaging and genetics to show that signals are exchanged between the root primordium and the handful of cells overlying it, which then cave in on themselves to open up a channel for the growing root primordium.

J. E. M. Vermeer, D. von Wangenheim, M. Barberon, Y. Lee, E. H. K. Stelzer, A. Maizel, N. Geldner, A spatial accommodation by neighboring cells is required for organ initiation in Arabidopsis. Science 343, 178–183 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]