ViPS Invited Seminar May 2021

Zachary Nimchuk, Chapell Hill, North Carolina, USA

Date: 19th May 2021

Time: 15:15

Title: Wiring plant development through receptor kinase signaling circuits

Location: Remotely via Zoom

Host: Paula Elomaa

Abstract: The elaboration of the plant body plan during development requires that cells coordinate division and differentiation decisions in tissues. In above ground meristems the CLE family peptide CLAVATA3 acts as an intercellular signal to control the extent of shoot stem cell proliferation.  Work over the past 20 years have shown that the perception of the CLV3 peptide during this process is complex, involving a suite of different receptor kinases whose interactions can be wired together in complex ways. Furthermore, while the core CLAVATA pathway is deeply conserved the wiring of these pathways can be tuned differently in different plants. How these different aspects of CLAVATA signaling shapes development and cellular decisions is still largely a mystery. Here I will describe recent work from my lab on new aspects of these signaling pathways that help address this question. 

The Nimchuk lab studies plant development and the signaling pathways that regulate stem cell function in plants. All plant development originates from stem cells located in discrete locations throughout the plant. Like in animals, plant stem cells exist in an undifferentiated state. Stem cells divide and give rise to new stem cells but also to cells that differentiate to form the myriad of different cell types that comprise the plant. Our lab is interested in understanding how stem cell populations are specified, maintained and how they balance proliferation and differentiation.  Our lab uses the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and other plants to study stem cell regulation. We use genetics, biochemistry, live imaging, cell biology and genome editing to uncover the function of genes and proteins in these signaling pathways. Read more about the Nimchuk lab

Related publications:

DeFalco TA, Anne P, James SR, Willoughby A, Johanndrees O, Genolet Y, Pullen A-M, Zipfel C, Hardtke CS, Nimchuk ZL. A conserved regulatory module regulates receptor kinase signaling in immunity and development. bioRxiv2021.01.19.427293; doi:

Crook AC, Willoughby AC, Hazak O, Okuda S, Soyars CL, Cattaneo P, Clark NM, Sozzani R, Hothorn M, Hardtke CS, Nimchuk ZL. (2020). BAM1/2 receptor kinase signaling drives CLE-peptide mediated formative cell divisions in Arabidopsis roots. PNAS. Dec 7:202018565. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2018565117.

Jones DS, John A, Nimchuk ZL (2020). CLAVATA signaling ensures reproductive development in plants across thermal environments. Current Biology. Nov 2:S0960-9822(20)31512-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.10.008.

Rodriguez-Leal D, Xu C, Kwon C-T, Soyars C, Arevalo ED, Man J, Lei L, Lemmon ZH, Daniel S. Jones, Van Eck J, Jackson DP, Bartlett ME, Nimchuk ZL, and Lippman ZB (2019). Evolution of buffering in a genetic circuit controlling plant stem cell proliferation. Nature Genetics. May;51(5):786-792.

Nimchuk ZL (2017). CLAVATA1 controls distinct signaling outputs that buffer shoot stem cell proliferation through a two-step transcriptional compensation loop. PLOS Genetics. Mar 29;13(3):e1006681.