J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2013, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (9): 864-875.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12097

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Epidermal Patterning Genes Impose Non-cell Autonomous Cell Size Determination and have Additional Roles in Root Meristem Size Control

Christian Löfke, Kai Dünser and Jürgen Kleine-Vehn*   

  1. Department of Applied Genetics and Cell Biology, Vienna Institute of Biotechnology (VIBT), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • Received:2013-03-01 Accepted:2013-07-29 Published:2013-09-01
  • About author:*Corresponding author Tel: +43 1 47654 6719; Fax: +43 1 47654 6392; E-mail: juergen.kleine-vehn@boku.ac.at
    Co-Editor: Remko Offringa


The regulation of cellular growth is of vital importance for embryonic and postembryonic patterning. Growth regulation in the epidermis has importance for organ growth rates in roots and shoots, proposing epidermal cells as an interesting model for cellular growth regulation. Here we assessed whether the root epidermis is a suitable model system to address cell size determination. In Arabidopsis thaliana L., root epidermal cells are regularly spaced in neighbouring tricho- (root hair) and atrichoblast (non-hair) cells, showing already distinct cell size regulation in the root meristem. We determined cell sizes in the root meristem and at the onset of cellular elongation, revealing that not only division rates but also cellular shape is distinct in tricho- and atrichoblasts. Intriguingly, epidermal-patterning mutants, failing to define differential vacuolization in neighbouring epidermal cell files, also display non-differential growth. Using these epidermal-patterning mutants, we show that polarized growth behaviour of epidermal tricho- and atrichoblast is interdependent, suggesting non-cell autonomous signals to integrate tissue expansion. Besides the interweaved cell-type-dependent growth mechanism, we reveal an additional role for epidermal patterning genes in root meristem size and organ growth regulation. We conclude that epidermal cells represent a suitable model system to study cell size determination and interdependent tissue growth.

Löfke C, Dünser K, Kleine‐Vehn J (2013) Epidermal patterning genes impose non‐cell autonomous cell size determination and have additional roles in root meristem size control. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55(9), 864–875.

Key words: Atrichoblast, cell size determination, trichoblast

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