PS Webinar Series: Innovation, Conservation and Repurposing of Gene Function in Plant Cell Type Development

Abstract: Irrespective of species, plant roots have remarkably similar patterning, and thus, many cell types are considered functionally homologous across species. Despite these similarities, there is also diversity in root cell types, such as the exodermis, which is present in a reported 89% of angiosperms, but absent in the intensely studied model species Arabidopsis (Perumalla, Peterson, and Enstone 1990). Additionally, multiple cortical cell types exist in species like tomato and rice (Henry et al. 2015), but only a single cortical cell type exists in Arabidopsis. To understand this diversity we profiled tomato root cell type translatomes and chromatin accessibility. Using xylem differentiation in tomato, relative to Arabidopsis, examples of functional innovation, repurposing and conservation of transcription factors are described. Repurposing and innovation of genes are further observed within an exodermis regulatory network and illustrate its function. Finally, we extend these comparisons between Arabidopsis and tomato, to rice, and explore the question of homology between cell types across diverse species.

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Bio: Siobhan Brady received her PhD at the University of Toronto in 2005, and was a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at Duke University from 2005 – 2008. In 2009 she began an Assistant Professor position and became Professor in 2020 at the University of California, Davis in the Department of Plant Biology and in the Genome Center. In 2016 she was named as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Research Scholar. Research in the Brady lab focuses on the global regulation of gene expression and its contribution to root morphology and development in Arabidopsis thaliana, Solanum species, Sorghum bicolor and maize. The Brady lab is also committed to developing publicly available data and resources for the community and to the mentoring of scientists from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.



Twitter: @bradylabs