Re-activation of Stem Cell Pathways for Pattern Restoration in Plant Wound Healing

Cell. 2019 May 2;177(4):957-969.e13. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.04.015.


Patterning in plants relies on oriented cell divisions and acquisition of specific cell identities. Plants regularly endure wounds caused by abiotic or biotic environmental stimuli and have developed extraordinary abilities to restore their tissues after injuries. Here, we provide insight into a mechanism of restorative patterning that repairs tissues after wounding. Laser-assisted elimination of different cells in Arabidopsis root combined with live-imaging tracking during vertical growth allowed analysis of the regeneration processes in vivo. Specifically, the cells adjacent to the inner side of the injury re-activated their stem cell transcriptional programs. They accelerated their progression through cell cycle, coordinately changed the cell division orientation, and ultimately acquired de novo the correct cell fates to replace missing cells. These observations highlight existence of unknown intercellular positional signaling and demonstrate the capability of specified cells to re-acquire stem cell programs as a crucial part of the plant-specific mechanism of wound healing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Division
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / metabolism*
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Wound Healing / physiology*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors