Talk global, act local-patterning the Arabidopsis embryo

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2008 Feb;11(1):28-33. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2007.10.007. Epub 2007 Dec 3.


The primary axis and main tissue types of Arabidopsis are laid down in the early embryo. Apical-to-basal auxin flux functions as a global organizer of the axis, and recent reports are clarifying our mechanistic understanding of how a graded auxin distribution is generated and interpreted. Polar targeting of PIN transporters in the cells of the embryo is dynamic and linked to their phosphorylation status, suggesting a flexible mechanism for regulating auxin flux in space and time. PLETHORA transcription factors then interpret the graded auxin distribution to provide positional values along the axis in a dose-dependent manner. A comparable framework for tissue patterning in the radial dimension is still lacking, although cell surface signaling probably plays a key role.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / embryology*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • PLT1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • PLT2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Transcription Factors