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Published May 18, 2015 | public
Journal Article Open

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


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.

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.

Attached Files

Supplemental Material - mmc1.pdf

Accepted Version - nihms766222.pdf


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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023