Coordination of meristem and boundary functions by transcription factors in the SHOOT MERISTEMLESS regulatory network

Scofield, Simon, Murison, Alexander, Jones, Angharad, Fozard, John, Aida, Mitsuhiro, Band, Leah R., Bennett, Malcolm and Murray, James A.H. (2018) Coordination of meristem and boundary functions by transcription factors in the SHOOT MERISTEMLESS regulatory network. Development, 145 (9). dev157081. ISSN 0950-1991

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The Arabidopsis homeodomain transcription factor SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM) is crucial for shoot apical meristem (SAM) function, yet the components and structure of the STMgene regulatory network (GRN) are largely unknown. Here, we show that transcriptional regulators are overrepresented among STM-regulated genes and, using these as GRN components in Bayesian network analysis, we infer STM GRN associations and reveal regulatory relationships between STM and factors involved in multiple aspects of SAM function. These include hormone regulation, TCP-mediated control of cell differentiation, AIL/PLT-mediated regulation of pluripotency and phyllotaxis, and specification of meristem-organ boundary zones via CUC1. We demonstrate a direct positive transcriptional feedback loop between STM and CUC1, despite their distinct expression patterns in the meristem and organ boundary, respectively. Our further finding that STM activates expression of the CUC1-targeting microRNA miR164c combined with mathematical modelling provides a potential solution for this apparent contradiction, demonstrating that these proposed regulatory interactions coupled with STM mobility could be sufficient to provide a mechanism for CUC1 localisation at the meristem-organ boundary. Our findings highlight the central role for the STM GRN in coordinating SAM functions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: SHOOT MERISTEMLESS, Gene regulatory network, Arabidopsis, Homeodomain, Meristem, KNOX, Transcriptional regulation
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Biosciences > Division of Plant and Crop Sciences
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 30 May 2018 10:43
Last Modified: 31 May 2018 17:21

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