Mechanical conflict caused by a cell-wall-loosening enzyme activates de novo shoot regeneration

Vijina Varapparambath, Mabel Maria Mathew*, Anju Pallipurath Shanmukhan, Dhanya Radhakrishnan, Abdul Kareem, Shubham Verma, João Jacob Ramalho, Bejoy Manoj, Archana Rajan Vellandath, Mohammed Aiyaz, Raji Krishna Radha, Amit N. Landge, Ari Pekka Mähönen, Marcus G. Heisler, Dolf Weijers, Kalika Prasad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Cellular heterogeneity is a hallmark of multicellular organisms. During shoot regeneration from undifferentiated callus, only a select few cells, called progenitors, develop into shoot. How these cells are selected and what governs their subsequent progression to a patterned organ system is unknown. Using Arabidopsis thaliana, we show that it is not just the abundance of stem cell regulators but rather the localization pattern of polarity proteins that predicts the progenitor's fate. A shoot-promoting factor, CUC2, activated the expression of the cell-wall-loosening enzyme, XTH9, solely in a shell of cells surrounding the progenitor, causing different mechanical stresses in these cells. This mechanical conflict then activates cell polarity in progenitors to promote meristem formation. Interestingly, genetic or physical perturbations to cells surrounding the progenitor impaired the progenitor and vice versa. These suggest a feedback loop between progenitors and their neighbors for shoot regeneration in the absence of tissue-patterning cues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2063-2080.e10
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2022


  • auxin
  • cell polarity
  • cell-wall-loosening enzyme
  • CUC2
  • mechanical conflict
  • shoot regeneration


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