1. Developmental Biology
  2. Plant Biology
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Integration of light and metabolic signals for stem cell activation at the shoot apical meristem

  1. Anne Pfeiffer
  2. Denis Janocha
  3. Yihan Dong
  4. Anna Medzihradszky
  5. Stefanie Schöne
  6. Gabor Daum
  7. Takuya Suzaki
  8. Joachim Forner
  9. Tobias Langenecker
  10. Eugen Rempel
  11. Markus Schmid
  12. Markus Wirtz
  13. Rüdiger Hell
  14. Jan U Lohmann  Is a corresponding author
  1. Heidelberg University, Germany
  2. University of Tsukuba, Japan
  3. Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany
  4. Umeå University, Sweden
Research Article
  • Cited 61
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e17023 doi: 10.7554/eLife.17023

Abstract

A major feature of embryogenesis is the specification of stem cell systems, but in contrast to the situation in most animals, plant stem cells remain quiescent until the postembryonic phase of development. Here, we dissect how light and metabolic signals are integrated to overcome stem cell dormancy at the shoot apical meristem. We show on the one hand that light is able to activate expression of the stem cell inducer WUSCHEL independently of photosynthesis and that this likely involves inter-regional cytokinin signaling. Metabolic signals, on the other hand, are transduced to the meristem through activation of the TARGET OF RAPAMYCIN (TOR) kinase. Surprisingly, TOR is also required for light signal dependent stem cell activation. Thus, the TOR kinase acts as a central integrator of light and metabolic signals and a key regulator of stem cell activation at the shoot apex.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Anne Pfeiffer

    Department of Stem Cell Biology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Denis Janocha

    Department of Stem Cell Biology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Yihan Dong

    Department of Molecular Plant Biology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Anna Medzihradszky

    Department of Stem Cell Biology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Stefanie Schöne

    Department of Stem Cell Biology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Gabor Daum

    Department of Stem Cell Biology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Takuya Suzaki

    Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Joachim Forner

    Department of Stem Cell Biology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Tobias Langenecker

    Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Eugen Rempel

    Department of Stem Cell Biology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  11. Markus Schmid

    Umeå Plant Science Centre, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  12. Markus Wirtz

    Department of Molecular Plant Biology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  13. Rüdiger Hell

    Department of Molecular Plant Biology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-6238-4818
  14. Jan U Lohmann

    Department of Stem Cell Biology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
    For correspondence
    jan.lohmann@cos.uni-heidelberg.de
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3667-187X

Reviewing Editor

  1. Christian S Hardtke, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Publication history

  1. Received: April 17, 2016
  2. Accepted: July 9, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: July 11, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Accepted Manuscript updated: July 27, 2016 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record published: August 1, 2016 (version 3)

Copyright

© 2016, Pfeiffer et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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