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Dev Biol. 2007 Feb 1;302(1):118-31. Epub 2006 Sep 12.

The role of the SCRAMBLED receptor-like kinase in patterning the Arabidopsis root epidermis.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


Cell-type patterning in the Arabidopsis root epidermis is achieved by a network of transcription factors and influenced by a position-dependent mechanism. The SCRAMBLED receptor-like kinase is required for the normal pattern to arise, but its precise role is not understood. Here we describe genetic and molecular studies to define the spatial and temporal role of SCM in epidermal patterning and its relationship to the transcriptional network. Our results suggest that SCM helps unspecified epidermal cells interpret their position in relation to the underlying cortical cells and establish distinct cell identities. Furthermore, SCM loss-of-function and overexpression analyses suggest that SCM influences cell fate through its negative transcriptional regulation of the WEREWOLF MYB gene in epidermal cells at the H position. We also find that SCM function is specifically required for patterning the post-embryonic root epidermis and not for the analogous epidermal cell-type patterning during embryogenesis or hypocotyl development. In addition, we show that two closely related SCM-like genes in Arabidopsis (SRF1 and SRF3) are not required alone or together with SCM for proper epidermal patterning. These findings help define the developmental and mechanistic role of SCM and suggest a new model for its action in root epidermal cell patterning.

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