A Case for Distributed Control of Local Stem Cell Behavior in Plants

Ramin Rahni, Idan Efroni, Kenneth D. Birnbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The root meristem has a centrally located group of mitotically quiescent cells, to which current models assign a stem cell organizer function. However, evidence is emerging for decentralized control of stem cell activity, whereby self-renewing behavior emerges from the lack of cell displacement at the border of opposing differentiation gradients. We term this a “stagnation” model due to its reliance on passive mechanics. The position of stem cells is established by two opposing axes that reciprocally control each other's differentiation. Such broad tissue organization programs would allow plants, like some animal systems, to rapidly reconstitute stem cells from non-stem-cell tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-642
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 26 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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