Hormonal and genetic control of pluripotency in bryophyte model systems

Flores-Sandoval E, Nishihama R and Bowman JL

Current Opinion in Plant Biology


Land plant meristems are reservoirs of pluripotent stem cells where new tissues emerge, grow and eventually differentiate into specific cell identities. Compared to algae, where cells are produced in two-dimensional tissues via tip or marginal growth, land plants have meristems that allow three-dimensional growth for successful exploration of the terrestrial environment. In land plants, meristem maintenance leads to indeterminate growth and the production of new meristems leads to branching or regeneration via reprogramming of wounded somatic cells. Emerging model systems in the haploid dominant and monophyletic bryophytes are allowing comparative analyses of meristem gene regulatory networks to address whether all plants use common or diverse programs to organise, maintain, and regenerate meristems. In this piece we aim to discuss recent advances in genetic and hormonal control of bryophyte meristems and possible convergence or discrepancies in an exciting and emerging field in plant biology.