Cell-by-cell dissection of phloem development links a maturation gradient to cell specialization

Pawel Roszak, Jung Ok Heo, Bernhard Blob, Koichi Toyokura, Yuki Sugiyama, Maria Angels de Luis Balaguer, Winnie W.Y. Lau, Fiona Hamey, Jacopo Cirrone, Ewelina Madej, Alida M. Bouatta, Xin Wang, Marjorie Guichard, Robertas Ursache, Hugo Tavares, Kevin Verstaen, Jos Wendrich, Charles W. Melnyk, Yoshihisa Oda, Dennis ShashaSebastian E. Ahnert, Yvan Saeys, Bert De Rybel, Renze Heidstra, Ben Scheres, Guido Grossmann, Ari Pekka Mähönen, Philipp Denninger, Berthold Göttgens, Rosangela Sozzani, Kenneth D. Birnbaum, Yrjö Helariutta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the plant meristem, tissue-wide maturation gradients are coordinated with specialized cell networks to establish various developmental phases required for indeterminate growth. Here, we used single-cell transcriptomics to reconstruct the protophloem developmental trajectory from the birth of cell progenitors to terminal differentiation in the Arabidopsis thaliana root. PHLOEM EARLY DNA-BINDING-WITH-ONE-FINGER (PEAR) transcription factors mediate lineage bifurcation by activating guanosine triphosphatase signaling and prime a transcriptional differentiation program. This program is initially repressed by a meristem-wide gradient of PLETHORA transcription factors. Only the dissipation of PLETHORA gradient permits activation of the differentiation program that involves mutual inhibition of early versus late meristem regulators. Thus, for phloem development, broad maturation gradients interface with cell-type-specific transcriptional regulators to stage cellular differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaba5531
Issue number6575
StatePublished - Dec 24 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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