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Dev Cell. 2014 Apr 14;29(1):75-87. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.02.002. Epub 2014 Mar 27.

Genetic control of plant development by overriding a geometric division rule.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Biochemistry, Wageningen University, Dreijenlaan 3, 6703HA Wageningen, the Netherlands.
2
Institute for Plant Sciences, University of Bern, Altenbergrain 21, Bern 3013, Switzerland.
3
Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada.
4
School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK.
5
Institute for Plant Sciences, University of Bern, Altenbergrain 21, Bern 3013, Switzerland. Electronic address: smith@mpipz.mpg.de.
6
Laboratory of Biochemistry, Wageningen University, Dreijenlaan 3, 6703HA Wageningen, the Netherlands. Electronic address: dolf.weijers@wur.nl.

Abstract

Formative cell divisions are critical for multicellular patterning. In the early plant embryo, such divisions follow from orienting the division plane. A major unanswered question is how division plane orientation is genetically controlled, and in particular whether this relates to cell geometry. We have generated a complete 4D map of early Arabidopsis embryogenesis and used computational analysis to demonstrate that several divisions follow a rule that uses the smallest wall area going through the center of the cell. In other cases, however, cell division clearly deviates from this rule, which invariably leads to asymmetric cell division. By analyzing mutant embryos and through targeted genetic perturbation, we show that response to the hormone auxin triggers a deviation from the "shortest wall" rule. Our work demonstrates that a simple default rule couples division orientation to cell geometry in the embryo and that genetic regulation can create patterns by overriding the default rule.

PMID:
24684831
DOI:
10.1016/j.devcel.2014.02.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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