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A Developmental Framework for Graft Formation and Vascular Reconnection in Arabidopsis thaliana

Melnyk, Charles W. and Schuster, Christoph and Leyser, Ottoline and Meyerowitz, Elliot M. (2015) A Developmental Framework for Graft Formation and Vascular Reconnection in Arabidopsis thaliana. Current Biology, 25 (10). pp. 1306-1318. ISSN 0960-9822. PMCID PMC4798781. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.03.032.

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Plant grafting is a biologically important phenomenon involving the physical joining of two plants to generate a chimeric organism. It is widely practiced in horticulture and used in science to study the long-distance movement of molecules. Despite its widespread use, the mechanism of graft formation and vascular reconnection is not well understood. Here, we study the dynamics and mechanisms of vascular regeneration in Arabidopsis thaliana during graft formation when the vascular strands are severed and reconnected. We demonstrate a temporal separation between tissue attachment, phloem connection, root growth, and xylem connection. By analyzing cell division patterns and hormone responses at the graft junction, we found that tissues initially show an asymmetry in cell division, cell differentiation, and gene expression and, through contact with the opposing tissue, lose this asymmetry and reform the vascular connection. In addition, we identified genes involved in vascular reconnection at the graft junction and demonstrate that these auxin response genes are required below the graft junction. We propose an inter-tissue communication process that occurs at the graft junction and promotes vascular connection by tissue-specific auxin responses involving ABERRANT LATERAL ROOT FORMATION 4 (ALF4). Our study has implications for phenomena where forming vascular connections are important including graft formation, parasitic plant infection, and wound healing.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Melnyk, Charles W.0000-0003-3251-800X
Schuster, Christoph0000-0002-1948-2367
Meyerowitz, Elliot M.0000-0003-4798-5153
Additional Information:© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Received: November 19, 2014; Revised: February 16, 2015; Accepted: March 19, 2015; Published: April 16, 2015. We thank the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre, Paul Tarr, Kaoru Sugimoto, Mark Estelle, Tom Bennett, Jason Reed, Thomas Schmülling, Fernan Ferderici, Dong-Ha Oh, Miltos Tsiantis, Keiko Sugimoto, Akira Iwase, Takatoshi Kiba, Hidehiro Fukaki, Stefan Kepinski, Catherine Bellini, Kotaro Yamamoto, Yunde Zhao, Niko Geldner, John Celenza, Bonnie Bartel, Ruth Stadler, Bruno Müller, Tatsuo Kakimoto, Ykä Helariutta, and Bernie Carroll for seeds. We thank Attila Molnar for providing the Arabidopsis cartoon. C.W.M. was funded by a Clare College Junior Research Fellowship. This work was funded by the Gatsby Charitable Trust through grants GAT3272/C and GAT3273-PR1 to E.M.M. and GAT3272C to O.L. Author Contributions: C.W.M., E.M.M., and O.L. designed the research. C.W.M. and C.S. performed the experiments. C.W.M., E.M.M., C.S., and O.L. analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Clare College Junior Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Gatsby Charitable TrustGAT3272/C
Gatsby Charitable TrustGAT3273-PR1
Gatsby Charitable TrustGAT3272C
Issue or Number:10
PubMed Central ID:PMC4798781
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150427-113614032
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Charles W. Melnyk, Christoph Schuster, Ottoline Leyser, Elliot M. Meyerowitz, A Developmental Framework for Graft Formation and Vascular Reconnection in Arabidopsis thaliana, Current Biology, Volume 25, Issue 10, 18 May 2015, Pages 1306-1318, ISSN 0960-9822, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57008
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:27 Apr 2015 19:15
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:06

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