About this Research Topic
In contrast to most animal species, plants are able to produce new organs and tissues postembryonically throughout their life cycle from pluripotent stem cells residing in specialized tissues called meristems. Plants also have remarkable abilities to repair damage and develop a complete organism from a body piece. Although it was previously assumed that all plant cells are totipotent, recent studies suggest that only some cells remain in a pluripotent state and it is from these cells that de novo organogenesis and regeneration could initiate in response to endogenous and exogenous signals. Recent studies in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana uncovered some of the master regulators of organ specification and growth: the activities of the WUSCHEL and PLETHORA transcription factors instruct pluripotent cells in the meristems to form either shoots or roots, respectively. Indeed, constitutive overexpression of these genes led to the production of ectopic organs. Also, hormonal signals, produced mainly by auxin and cytokinin, have been placed upstream and partly independent of these master regulators.
Many questions concerning de novo organogenesis and regeneration in plants, however, remain unanswered: How certain cells maintain pluripotency throughout the life cycle of the plant? How are plant stem cells specified to adopt specific fates and embark on particular developmental pathways? How are new organs with different cell lineage and tissue organization generated within and functionally integrated with existing organs? What is the transcriptional output of the auxin-cytokinin balance during de novo organ formation? Are the transcriptional networks involved in organ regeneration conserved among plant species? Is epigenetic regulation of cellular pluripotency or totipotency required for the regeneration processes?
The aim of this Research Topic is to explore the emerging themes in research on de novo organogenesis in plants, and to provide insights into unifying principles that allow us to define the regenerative potential of plants, animals and humans. We particularly encourage authors to submit articles that make use of innovative and integrated technologies and present new findings on non-model plants such as crops and tree species.
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