The continuous function of (root and shoot) meristems is fundamental to the post-embryonic development, adaptation and survival of higher plants. Understanding the mechanisms of meristem maintenance represents a key challenge in plant science research. In the past decade, considerable knowledge has been gained about the importance of auxin in root meristem maintenance. However, the role of other hormones in this process is much less clear. This project will seek to fill this knowledge gap by studying the role of another hormone, abscisic acid (ABA) in root meristem maintenance. The project is based on our preliminary finding that ABA rescues the root meristem failure in the alf3-1 mutant. We have established that this ABA function is not mediated by currently known ABA signalling components such as the ABI genes and also have obtained mutants, known as aabi (for alf3-1 ABA insensitive), that are insensitive to this ABA regulation. These mutants are interesting in several aspects: 1) they likely carry mutations in novel ABA signalling genes; 2) they are defective in several fundamental mechanisms related to root meristem maintenance such as the maintenance of the stem cell niche and positional regulation over cell differentiation fate. The project focuses on one MABI gene, MABI8, and aims at identifying/and characterising this gene and also establishing the cellular and molecular events associated with the root meristem failure in the alf3-1 and aabi mutants.
Field of science
- /medical and health sciences/medical biotechnology/cells technologies/stem cells
Call for proposal
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