Every multicellular organism consists of numerous organs, tissues and specific cell types. To gain detailed knowledge about the morphogenesis of these complex structures, it is inevitable to advance biochemical analyses to ultimate spatial and temporal resolution since individual cell types contribute differently to the overall performance of living objects. Single cell sampling combined with systems biological approaches was recently applied to investigations of Arabidopsis thaliana trichomes (leaf hairs). These are single celled structures that provide ideal model systems to address various aspects of plant cell development and differentiation at the level of individual cells. A previously suggested function of trichomes in plant stress responses could thus be confirmed. Furthermore, trichome-specific "omics" data collected in several laboratories are mutually conclusive which demonstrates the applicability of systems biological approaches at the single cell level.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.