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Modeling the organization of the WUSCHEL expression domain in the shoot apical meristem

Jönsson, Henrik and Heisler, Marcus and Reddy, G. Venugopala and Agrawal, Vikas and Gor, Victoria and Shapiro, Bruce E. and Mjolsness, Eric and Meyerowitz, Elliot M. (2005) Modeling the organization of the WUSCHEL expression domain in the shoot apical meristem. Bioinformatics, 21 (S1). i232-i240. ISSN 1367-4803. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/bti1036.

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Motivation: The above-ground tissues of higher plants are generated from a small region of cells situated at the plant apex called the shoot apical meristem. An important genetic control circuit modulating the size of the Arabidopsis thaliana meristem is a feed-back network between the CLAVATA3 and WUSCHEL genes. Although the expression patterns for these genes do not overlap, WUSCHEL activity is both necessary and sufficient (when expressed ectopically) for the induction of CLAVATA3 expression. However, upregulation of CLAVATA3 in conjunction with the receptor kinase CLAVATA1 results in the downregulation of WUSCHEL. Despite much work, experimental data for this network are incomplete and additional hypotheses are needed to explain the spatial locations and dynamics of these expression domains. Predictive mathematical models describing the system should provide a useful tool for investigating and discriminating among possible hypotheses, by determining which hypotheses best explain observed gene expression dynamics. Results: We are developing a method using in vivo live confocal microscopy to capture quantitative gene expression data and create templates for computational models. We present two models accounting for the organization of the WUSCHEL expression domain. Our preferred model uses a reaction-diffusion mechanism in which an activator induces WUSCHEL expression. This model is able to organize the WUSCHEL expression domain. In addition, the model predicts the dynamical reorganization seen in experiments where cells, including the WUSCHEL domain, are ablated, and it also predicts the spatial expansion of the WUSCHEL domain resulting from removal of the CLAVATA3 signal. Availability: An extended description of the model framework and image processing algorithms can be found at, together with additional results and simulation movies.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Jönsson, Henrik0000-0003-2340-588X
Heisler, Marcus0000-0001-5644-8398
Meyerowitz, Elliot M.0000-0003-4798-5153
Additional Information:© 2005 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press. Received on January 15, 2005; accepted on March 27, 2005. We are grateful to Ylva Aspenberg for implementing the image background-extraction algorithm. This research was supported by NSF:FIBR award number EF-0330786. H.J. was supported in part by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation through Swegene.
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Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:S1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161202-133833294
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Official Citation:Henrik Jönsson, Marcus Heisler, G. Venugopala Reddy, Vikas Agrawal, Victoria Gor, Bruce E. Shapiro, Eric Mjolsness, and Elliot M. Meyerowitz Modeling the organization of the WUSCHEL expression domain in the shoot apical meristem Bioinformatics (2005) 21 (suppl 1): i232-i240 doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/bti1036
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72532
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Dec 2016 23:15
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 05:03

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