Meristem size contributes to the robustness of phyllotaxis in Arabidopsis.
ABSTRACT: Using the plant model Arabidopsis, the relationship between day length, the size of the shoot apical meristem, and the robustness of phyllotactic patterns were analysed. First, it was found that reducing day length leads to an increased meristem size and an increased number of alterations in the final positions of organs along the stem. Most of the phyllotactic defects could be related to an altered tempo of organ emergence, while not affecting the spatial positions of organ initiations at the meristem. A correlation was also found between meristem size and the robustness of phyllotaxis in two accessions (Col-0 and WS-4) and a mutant (clasp-1), independent of growth conditions. A reduced meristem size in clasp-1 was even associated with an increased robustness of the phyllotactic pattern, beyond what is observed in the wild type. Interestingly it was also possible to modulate the robustness of phyllotaxis in these different genotypes by changing day length. To conclude, it is shown first that robustness of the phyllotactic pattern is not maximal in the wild type, suggesting that, beyond its apparent stereotypical order, the robustness of phyllotaxis is regulated. Secondly, a role for day length in the robustness of the phyllotaxis was also identified, thus providing a new example of a link between patterning and environment in plants. Thirdly, the experimental results validate previous model predictions suggesting a contribution of meristem size in the robustness of phyllotaxis via the coupling between the temporal sequence and spatial pattern of organ initiations.
Project description:Lateral organ distribution at the shoot apical meristem defines specific and robust phyllotaxis patterns that have intrigued biologists and mathematicians for centuries. In silico studies have revealed that this self-organizing process can be recapitulated by modeling the polar transport of the phytohormone auxin. Phyllotactic patterns change between species and developmental stages, but the processes behind these variations have remained unknown. Here we use regional complementation experiments to reveal that phyllotactic switches in Arabidopsis shoots can be mediated by PLETHORA-dependent control of local auxin biosynthesis.
Project description:In plants and parenchymatous brown algae the body arises through the activity of an apical meristem (a niche of cells or a single cell). The meristem produces lateral organs in specific patterns, referred to as phyllotaxis. In plants, two different control mechanisms have been proposed: one is position-dependent and relies on morphogen accumulation at future organ sites; the other is a lineage-based system which links phyllotaxis to the apical cell division pattern. Here we examine the apical patterning of the brown alga, Sargassum muticum, which exhibits spiral phyllotaxis (137.5° angle) and an unlinked apical cell division pattern. The Sargassum apex presents characteristics of a self-organising system, similar to plant meristems. In contrast to complex plant meristems, we were unable to correlate the plant morphogen auxin with bud positioning in Sargassum, nor could we predict cell wall softening at new bud sites. Our data suggests that in Sargassum muticum there is no connection between phyllotaxis and the apical cell division pattern indicating a position-dependent patterning mechanism may be in place. The underlying mechanisms behind the phyllotactic patterning appear to be distinct from those seen in plants.
Project description:A striking feature of vascular plants is the regular arrangement of lateral organs on the stem, known as phyllotaxis. The most common phyllotactic patterns can be described using spirals, numbers from the Fibonacci sequence and the golden angle. This rich mathematical structure, along with the experimental reproduction of phyllotactic spirals in physical systems, has led to a view of phyllotaxis focusing on regularity. However all organisms are affected by natural stochastic variability, raising questions about the effect of this variability on phyllotaxis and the achievement of such regular patterns. Here we address these questions theoretically using a dynamical system of interacting sources of inhibitory field. Previous work has shown that phyllotaxis can emerge deterministically from the self-organization of such sources and that inhibition is primarily mediated by the depletion of the plant hormone auxin through polarized transport. We incorporated stochasticity in the model and found three main classes of defects in spiral phyllotaxis--the reversal of the handedness of spirals, the concomitant initiation of organs and the occurrence of distichous angles--and we investigated whether a secondary inhibitory field filters out defects. Our results are consistent with available experimental data and yield a prediction of the main source of stochasticity during organogenesis. Our model can be related to cellular parameters and thus provides a framework for the analysis of phyllotactic mutants at both cellular and tissular levels. We propose that secondary fields associated with organogenesis, such as other biochemical signals or mechanical forces, are important for the robustness of phyllotaxis. More generally, our work sheds light on how a target pattern can be achieved within a noisy background.
Project description:In plants, aerial organs are initiated at stereotyped intervals, both spatially (every 137° in a pattern called phyllotaxis) and temporally (at prescribed time intervals called plastochrons). To investigate the molecular basis of such regularity, mutants with altered architecture have been isolated. However, most of them only exhibit plastochron defects and/or produce a new, albeit equally reproducible, phyllotactic pattern. This leaves open the question of a molecular control of phyllotaxis regularity. Here, we show that phyllotaxis regularity depends on the function of VIP proteins, components of the RNA polymerase II-associated factor 1 complex (Paf1c). Divergence angles between successive organs along the stem exhibited increased variance in vip3-1 and vip3-2 compared with the wild type, in two different growth conditions. Similar results were obtained with the weak vip3-6 allele and in vip6, a mutant for another Paf1c subunit. Mathematical analysis confirmed that these defects could not be explained solely by plastochron defects. Instead, increased variance in phyllotaxis in vip3 was observed at the meristem and related to defects in spatial patterns of auxin activity. Thus, the regularity of spatial, auxin-dependent, patterning at the meristem requires Paf1c.
Project description:Plant leaves are arranged around the stem in a beautiful geometry that is called phyllotaxis. In the majority of plants, phyllotaxis exhibits a distichous, Fibonacci spiral, decussate, or tricussate pattern. To explain the regularity and limited variety of phyllotactic patterns, many theoretical models have been proposed, mostly based on the notion that a repulsive interaction between leaf primordia determines the position of primordium initiation. Among them, particularly notable are the two models of Douady and Couder (alternate-specific form, DC1; more generalized form, DC2), the key assumptions of which are that each leaf primordium emits a constant power that inhibits new primordium formation and that this inhibitory effect decreases with distance. It was previously demonstrated by computer simulations that any major type of phyllotaxis can occur as a self-organizing stable pattern in the framework of DC models. However, several phyllotactic types remain unaddressed. An interesting example is orixate phyllotaxis, which has a tetrastichous alternate pattern with periodic repetition of a sequence of different divergence angles: 180°, 90°, -180°, and -90°. Although the term orixate phyllotaxis was derived from Orixa japonica, this type is observed in several distant taxa, suggesting that it may reflect some aspects of a common mechanism of phyllotactic patterning. Here we examined DC models regarding the ability to produce orixate phyllotaxis and found that model expansion via the introduction of primordial age-dependent changes of the inhibitory power is absolutely necessary for the establishment of orixate phyllotaxis. The orixate patterns generated by the expanded version of DC2 (EDC2) were shown to share morphological details with real orixate phyllotaxis. Furthermore, the simulation results obtained using EDC2 fitted better the natural distribution of phyllotactic patterns than did those obtained using the previous models. Our findings imply that changing the inhibitory power is generally an important component of the phyllotactic patterning mechanism.
Project description:The genus Dipsacus is characterized by a remarkable bidirectional flowering sequence and a rare phyllotactic pattern. Considering that flower initiation and flowering sequence may be interconnected, we document the development of the head meristem in Dipsacus fullonum. Our results indicate a gradual change in the geometry of the head meristem beginning with a dome shaped stage, continuing with a remarkable widening in the middle part of the head meristem and ending in a spindle-like form. Quantitative data confirm that meristem expansion is higher in the middle part than at the base of the meristem. Likewise, the size of the flower primordia in the middle part of the young head is significantly larger than at the base soon after initiation. We conclude that the change in the geometry of the meristem and the availability of newly generated space result in the promotion of the middle flowers and the bidirectional flowering sequence at anthesis. Our investigation on phyllotactic patterns reveals a high tendency (30%) of the head meristem to insert or lose parastichies. This finding can also be attributed to changes in the expansion rate of the meristem. Dependent on the spatio-temporal relation between meristem expansion and primordia initiation, either flower primordia are promoted or additional parastichies appear. Our results emphasize the important role of geometry in flower development and phyllotactic pattern formation.
Project description:The capacity for sustained cell division is a critical determinant of plant meristem development, and ultimately, organ size. This capacity is diminished in mutants lacking the microtubule-associated protein CLASP, and when brassinosteroid signaling is increased. Here, we discovered that CLASP is both targeted by and promotes activity of the brassinosteroid pathway in Arabidopsis root apical meristems. We show that enhanced brassinosteroid signalling reduces CLASP transcript and protein levels, and dramatically shifts microtubule organization to promote exit from the cell division cycle. Notably, CLASP sustains brassinosteroid signalling by fostering retrieval of endocytosed BRI1 receptors to the plasma membrane through the tethering of SNX1 vesicles to microtubules. clasp-1 null mutants have fewer BRI1 receptors, and impaired BR-mediated transcriptional activity and responses. Global transcript profiling confirmed the collapse of cell cycle activity in clasp-1 and revealed hormone crosstalk. Together, these findings reveal an unprecedented form of negative feedback that supports meristem homeostasis. Overall design: mRNA profiling of response of clasp-1 mutant and wild type root tips to epibrassinolide
Project description:Exploration of developmental mechanisms classically relies on analysis of pattern regularities. Whether disorders induced by biological noise may carry information on building principles of developmental systems is an important debated question. Here, we addressed theoretically this question using phyllotaxis, the geometric arrangement of plant aerial organs, as a model system. Phyllotaxis arises from reiterative organogenesis driven by lateral inhibitions at the shoot apex. Motivated by recurrent observations of disorders in phyllotaxis patterns, we revisited in depth the classical deterministic view of phyllotaxis. We developed a stochastic model of primordia initiation at the shoot apex, integrating locality and stochasticity in the patterning system. This stochastic model recapitulates phyllotactic patterns, both regular and irregular, and makes quantitative predictions on the nature of disorders arising from noise. We further show that disorders in phyllotaxis instruct us on the parameters governing phyllotaxis dynamics, thus that disorders can reveal biological watermarks of developmental systems.
Project description:Here we discuss the formation of phyllotactic patterns in the shoot apical meristem (SAM) of plants, where the spatial distribution of the phytohormone auxin determines phyllotaxis in a domain that is growing and changing in time. We assume that the concentration of auxin modifies the mechanical properties of the domain and that the mechanical stress field in the SAM orients the flux of auxin. To study this problem we propose a mechanism for pattern formation in growing domains with variable curvature. The dynamics of chemicals is modeled by a reaction-diffusion system that produces a three dimensional pattern of chemical concentrations that changes the stress field in the domain while growing. The growth process is modeled by a phase-field order parameter which determines the location of the boundaries of the domain. This field is coupled to the chemical concentration through a curvature term that affects the local mechanical stress in the domain. The local stress changes in turn modify the chemical patterns. Our model constitutes a useful and novel approach in theoretical biology, as many developmental processes in organisms seem to be affected by the changes of curvature, size, mechanical stress and other physical aspects. Several patterns seen in many plants are reproduced under certain conditions by our model.
Project description:Vegetative-reproductive phase change is an indispensable event which guarantees several aspects of successful meristem behaviour and organ development. Antirrhinum majus undergoes drastic changes of shoot architecture during the phase change, including phyllotactic change and leaf type alteration from opposite decussate to spiral. However, the regulation mechanism in both of phyllotactic morphology changes is still unclear. Here, the Solexa/Illumina RNA-seq high-throughput sequencing was used to evaluate the global changes of transcriptome levels among four node regions during phyllotactic development. More than 86,315,782 high quality reads were sequenced and assembled into 58,509 unigenes. These differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were classified into 118 pathways described in the KEGG database. Based on the heat-map analysis, a large number of DEGs were overwhelmingly distributed in the hormone signal pathway as well as the carbohydrate biosynthesis and metabolism. The quantitative real time (qRT)-PCR results indicated that most of DEGs were highly up-regulated in the swapping regions of phyllotactic morphology. Moreover, transcriptions factors (TFs) with high transcripts were also identified, controlling the phyllotactic morphology by the regulation of hormone and sugar-metabolism signal pathways. A number of DEGs did not align with any databases and might be novel genes involved in the phyllotactic development. These genes will serve as an invaluable genetic resource for understanding the molecular mechanism of the phyllotactic development.