Physcomitrium patens: A single model to study oriented cell divisions in 1d to 3d patterning

Jeroen de Keijzer, Alejandra Freire Rios, Viola Willemsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Development in multicellular organisms relies on cell proliferation and specialization. In plants, both these processes critically depend on the spatial organization of cells within a tis-sue. Owing to an absence of significant cellular migration, the relative position of plant cells is virtually made permanent at the moment of division. Therefore, in numerous plant developmental contexts, the (divergent) developmental trajectories of daughter cells are dependent on division plane positioning in the parental cell. Prior to and throughout division, specific cellular processes inform, establish and execute division plane control. For studying these facets of division plane control, the moss Physcomitrium (Physcomitrella) patens has emerged as a suitable model system. Developmental progression in this organism starts out simple and transitions towards a body plan with a three-dimensional structure. The transition is accompanied by a series of divisions where cell fate transitions and division plane positioning go hand in hand. These divisions are experimentally highly tractable and accessible. In this review, we will highlight recently uncovered mechanisms, including polarity protein complexes and cytoskeletal structures, and transcriptional regulators, that are required for 1D to 3D body plan formation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2626
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2021


  • Asymmetric cell division
  • Division plane positioning
  • Gametophore initiation
  • Physcomitrium
  • Proliferative cell division

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