All Publications

  • A cell size threshold triggers commitment to stomatal fate in Arabidopsis. Science advances Gong, Y., Dale, R., Fung, H. F., Amador, G. O., Smit, M. E., Bergmann, D. C. 2023; 9 (38): eadf3497


    How flexible developmental programs integrate information from internal and external factors to modulate stem cell behavior is a fundamental question in developmental biology. Cells of the Arabidopsis stomatal lineage modify the balance of stem cell proliferation and differentiation to adjust the size and cell type composition of mature leaves. Here, we report that meristemoids, one type of stomatal lineage stem cell, trigger the transition from asymmetric self-renewing divisions to commitment and terminal differentiation by crossing a critical cell size threshold. Through computational simulation, we demonstrate that this cell size-mediated transition allows robust, yet flexible termination of stem cell proliferation, and we observe adjustments in the number of divisions before the differentiation threshold under several genetic manipulations. We experimentally evaluate several mechanisms for cell size sensing, and our data suggest that this stomatal lineage transition is dependent on a nuclear factor that is sensitive to DNA content.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/sciadv.adf3497

    View details for PubMedID 37729402

  • Arabidopsis stomatal polarity protein BASL mediates distinct processes before and after cell division to coordinate cell size and fate asymmetries. Development (Cambridge, England) Gong, Y., Alassimone, J., Muroyama, A., Amador, G., Varnau, R., Liu, A., Bergmann, D. C. 2021


    In many land plants, asymmetric cell divisions (ACDs) create, and pattern differentiated cell types on the leaf surface. In the Arabidopsis stomatal lineage, BREAKING OF ASYMMETRY IN THE STOMATAL LINEAGE (BASL) regulates ACD division plane placement and cell fate enforcement. Polarized subcellular localization of BASL is initiated before ACD and persists for many hours after the division in one of the two daughters. Untangling the respective contributions of polarized BASL before and after division is essential to gain a better understanding of its roles in regulating stomatal lineage ACDs. Here we combine quantitative imaging and lineage tracking with genetic tools that provide temporally restricted BASL expression. We find that pre-division BASL is required for division orientation, whereas BASL polarity post-division ensures proper cell fate commitment. These genetic manipulations allowed us to uncouple daughter-cell size asymmetry from polarity crescent inheritance, revealing independent effects of these two asymmetries on subsequent cell behavior. Finally, we show that there is coordination between the division frequencies of sister cells produced by ACDs, and this coupling requires BASL as an effector of peptide signaling.

    View details for DOI 10.1242/dev.199919

    View details for PubMedID 34463761

  • Evolution of polarity protein BASL and the capacity for stomatal lineage asymmetric divisions. Current biology : CB Nir, I., Amador, G., Gong, Y., Smoot, N. K., Cai, L., Shohat, H., Bergmann, D. C. 2021


    Asymmetric and oriented stem cell divisions enable the continued production of patterned tissues. The molecules that guide these divisions include several "polarity proteins" that are localized to discrete plasma membrane domains, are differentially inherited during asymmetric divisions, and whose scaffolding activities can guide division plane orientation and subsequent cell fates. In the stomatal lineages on the surfaces of plant leaves, asymmetric and oriented divisions create distinct cell types in physiologically optimized patterns. The polarity protein BREAKING OF ASYMMETRY IN THE STOMATAL LINEAGE (BASL) is a major regulator of stomatal lineage division and cell fate asymmetries in Arabidopsis, but its role in the stomatal lineages of other plants is unclear. Here, using phylogenetic and functional assays, we demonstrate that BASL is a eudicot-specific polarity protein. Dicot BASL orthologs can polarize in heterologous systems and rescue the Arabidopsis BASL mutant. The more widely distributed BASL-like proteins, although they share BASL's conserved C-terminal domain, are neither polarized nor do they function in asymmetric divisions of the stomatal lineage. Comparison of BASL protein localization and loss of function BASL phenotypes in Arabidopsis and tomato revealed previously unappreciated differences in how asymmetric cell divisions are employed for pattern formation in different species. This multi-species analysis therefore provides insight into the evolution of a unique polarity regulator and into the developmental choices available to cells as they build and pattern tissues.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2021.11.013

    View details for PubMedID 34847354

  • FASEB: The mechanisms in plant development. The New phytologist Fouracre, J. P., Kohler, A., Amador, G., Fung, H. F. 2020; 225 (6): 2243–45

    View details for DOI 10.1111/nph.16426

    View details for PubMedID 32064629