Dynamic expression reveals a two-step patterning of WUS and CLV3 during axillary shoot meristem formation in Arabidopsis

J Plant Physiol. 2017 Jul;214:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2017.03.017. Epub 2017 Mar 28.


Seed plants have a remarkable capability to produce axillary meristems (AM) in the leaf axils, however, the dynamic establishment of a stem cell niche in AM is largely uncharacterized. We comprehensively examined the dynamic patterning of WUSCHEL (WUS) and CLAVATA3 (CLV3), the two key marker genes defining the shoot stem cell niches, during AM formation in Arabidopsis, and we found that a two-step patterning of WUS and CLV3 occurred during AM stem cell niche establishment. Our further work on the wus and clv3 mutants implicates that such two-step patterning is likely critical for the maintenance of AM progenitor cells and the specification of AM stem cell niche. These data provide a cytological frame for how a stem cell niche is established during AM formation.

Keywords: Arabidopsis; Axillary shoot meristem; CLAVATA3; Stem cell niche; WUSCHEL.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Meristem / cytology
  • Meristem / genetics
  • Meristem / metabolism*
  • Plant Shoots / cytology
  • Plant Shoots / genetics
  • Plant Shoots / metabolism
  • Stem Cell Niche / genetics
  • Stem Cell Niche / physiology


  • AT2G27250 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • WUSCHEL protein, Arabidopsis