Modeling framework for the establishment of the apical-basal embryonic axis in plants

Current Biology : CB
Krzysztof WabnikJirí Friml


The apical-basal axis of the early plant embryo determines the body plan of the adult organism. To establish a polarized embryonic axis, plants evolved a unique mechanism that involves directional, cell-to-cell transport of the growth regulator auxin. Auxin transport relies on PIN auxin transporters, whose polar subcellular localization determines the flow directionality. PIN-mediated auxin transport mediates the spatial and temporal activity of the auxin response machinery that contributes to embryo patterning processes, including establishment of the apical (shoot) and basal (root) embryo poles. However, little is known of upstream mechanisms guiding the (re)polarization of auxin fluxes during embryogenesis. Here, we developed a model of plant embryogenesis that correctly generates emergent cell polarities and auxin-mediated sequential initiation of apical-basal axis of plant embryo. The model relies on two precisely localized auxin sources and a feedback between auxin and the polar, subcellular PIN transporter localization. Simulations reproduced PIN polarity and auxin distribution, as well as previously unknown polarization events during early embryogenesis. The spectrum of validated model predictions suggests that our mode...Continue Reading


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