Sep 22, 2017

Rolling dice for cell size specification in plant leaf epidermis


Overview of the press release

One of the central questions in biology is how a cell specifies its size. Because size distribution often shows a characteristically skewed pattern in a tissue, there may be some stochastic option for determining cell size. However, the underlying mechanism by which the target distribution is established by organizing a cellular coin-toss remains elusive. Associate Professor Kensuke Kawade at Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience and National Institute for Basic Biology, in collaboration with Professor Hirokazu Tsukaya at the Graduate School of Science, the University of Tokyo, discovered that endoreduplication, which promotes cellular enlargement in the epidermal tissue of Arabidopsis thaliana, occurs randomly as a Poisson process throughout cellular maturation.

Figure: Epidermal pavement and palisade mesophyll cells in a leaf of Arabidopsis thaliana. Epidermal pavement cells (left) and palisade mesophyll cells (right) in the mature leaf of Arabidopsis thaliana. The color is scaled according to cell size from smaller (yellow) to larger cells (red). Scale bars = 100 µm.


For more information, please visit the website of National Institute for Basic Biology.

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