Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition ResearchTitle: A high-resolution gene expression atlas links dedicated meristem genes to key architectural traits
|KNAUER, STEFFEN - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory|
|JAVELL, MARIE - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory|
|LI, LIN - University Of Minnesota|
|LI, XIANRAN - University Of Minnesota|
|MA, XIAOLI - Iowa State University|
|WIMALANATHAN, KOKULAPALAN - Iowa State University|
|KUMARI, SUNITA - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory|
|JOHNSTON, ROBYN - Cornell University - New York|
|LEIBOFF, SAMUEL - Cornell University - New York|
|MEELEY, ROBERT - Dupont Pioneer Hi-Bred|
|SCHNABLE, PATRICK - Iowa State University|
|LAWRENCE-DILL, CAROLYN - Iowa State University|
|YU, JIANMING - Iowa State University|
|MUEHLBAUER, GARY - University Of Minnesota|
|SCANLON, MICHAEL - Cornell University - New York|
|TIMMERMANS, MARJA - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory|
Submitted to: Genome Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/2/2019
Publication Date: 11/19/2019
Citation: Knauer, S., Javell, M., Li, L., Li, X., Ma, X., Wimalanathan, K., Kumari, S., Johnston, R., Leiboff, S., Meeley, R., Schnable, P.S., Ware, D., Lawrence-Dill, C., Yu, J., Muehlbauer, G.J., Scanlon, M.J., Timmermans, M.C. 2019. A high-resolution gene expression atlas links dedicated meristem genes to key architectural traits. Genome Research. 29(12):1962-1973. https://doi.org/10.1101/gr.250878.119.
Interpretive Summary: The shoot apical meristem (SAM) positioned at the plant’s growing shoot tip harbors a population of stem cells, which serve as a persistent source of cells for post-embryonic growth. Variation in SAM structure in maize is correlated with adult morphological traits like node number and plant height to ear. This suggests that differences in adult plant architecture traits, may be determined in part by regulatory mechanisms acting in the SAM, and that such regulatory networks form targets for selection in the enhancement of agronomically important traits.
Technical Abstract: The shoot apical meristem (SAM) at the plant’s growing shoot tip orchestrates the balance between stem cell renewal and organ initiation essential for post-embryonic growth. Here we show that, despite a common structural organization, the molecular signatures underlying maize SAM function are largely distinct from those in Arabidopsis. Cell identities within the maize shoot apex reflect complex transcription factor interactions that drive the dominant and differential expression of individual genes within gene families involved in a multitude of biological processes. Sub-functionalization and combinatorial transcription factor activity thus emerge as a fundamental features underlying cell fate specification. Allelic diversity present near dynamically expressed genes and the transcription factors that regulate them link the molecular circuitries acting in the SAM to post-meristematic morphological traits, identifying key new targets for crop improvement.