Chalmers Conferences, 9th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology

At the crossroads: how auxin biases positioning of asymmetric cell divisions in the root meristem
Athanasius F M (Stan) Marée

Last modified: 2014-06-09


How stem cells divide to create new cell types through asymmetric cell divisions (ACDs) is crucial to the overall development of any organism with multiple tissue types. Here we will discuss how mathematical modelling and analysis has helped uncovering the molecular switch that integrates signals to ensure that the ACDs happen in the right place and at the right time, creating layers of specialised tissue within the root. We unravelled an auxin-biased circuit which ensures that ACDs are switched on through the integration of radial and longitudinal information within the root, determined by SHR and auxin distributions, respectively. Coupling of cell cycle progression to protein degradation resets the circuit, resulting in a ‘flip flop’ that constrains the asymmetric cell divisions to the stem cell region only.