Cell identity regulators link development and stress responses in the Arabidopsis root

Dev Cell. 2011 Oct 18;21(4):770-82. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.09.009.


Stress responses in plants are tightly coordinated with developmental processes, but interaction of these pathways is poorly understood. We used genome-wide assays at high spatiotemporal resolution to understand the processes that link development and stress in the Arabidopsis root. Our meta-analysis finds little evidence for a universal stress response. However, common stress responses appear to exist with many showing cell type specificity. Common stress responses may be mediated by cell identity regulators because mutations in these genes resulted in altered responses to stress. Evidence for a direct role for cell identity regulators came from genome-wide binding profiling of the key regulator SCARECROW, which showed binding to regulatory regions of stress-responsive genes. Coexpression in response to stress was used to identify genes involved in specific developmental processes. These results reveal surprising linkages between stress and development at cellular resolution, and show the power of multiple genome-wide data sets to elucidate biological processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / pharmacology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / drug effects*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genome, Plant
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacology
  • Plant Roots / genetics*
  • Plant Roots / growth & development*
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Biomarkers
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Abscisic Acid

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE30166