Cell polarization is linked to fate determination during asymmetric division of plant stem cells, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. In Arabidopsis, BREAKING OF ASYMMETRY IN THE STOMATAL LINEAGE (BASL) is polarized to control stomatal asymmetric division. A mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade determines terminal stomatal fate by promoting the degradation of the lineage determinant SPEECHLESS (SPCH). Here, we demonstrate that a positive-feedback loop between BASL and the MAPK pathway constitutes a polarity module at the cortex. Cortical localization of BASL requires phosphorylation mediated by MPK3/6. Phosphorylated BASL functions as a scaffold and recruits the MAPKKK YODA and MPK3/6 to spatially concentrate signaling at the cortex. Activated MPK3/6 reinforces the feedback loop by phosphorylating BASL and inhibits stomatal fate by phosphorylating SPCH. Polarization of the BASL-MAPK signaling feedback module represents a mechanism connecting cell polarity to fate differentiation during asymmetric stem cell division in plants.
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