Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • 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

  • Mutations in the tomato gibberellin receptors suppress xylem proliferation and reduce water loss under water-deficit conditions JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY Illouz-Eliaz, N., Nissan, I., Nir, I., Ramon, U., Shohat, H., Weiss, D. 2020; 71 (12): 3603–12


    Low gibberellin (GA) activity in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) inhibits leaf expansion and reduces stomatal conductance. This leads to lower transpiration and improved water status under transient drought conditions. Tomato has three GIBBERELLIN-INSENSITIVE DWARF1 (GID1) GA receptors with overlapping activities and high redundancy. We tested whether mutation in a single GID1 reduces transpiration without affecting growth and productivity. CRISPR-Cas9 gid1 mutants were able to maintain higher leaf water content under water-deficit conditions. Moreover, while gid1a exhibited normal growth, it showed reduced whole-plant transpiration and better recovery from dehydration. Mutation in GID1a inhibited xylem vessel proliferation, which led to lower hydraulic conductance. In stronger GA mutants, we also found reduced xylem vessel expansion. These results suggest that low GA activity affects transpiration by multiple mechanisms: it reduces leaf area, promotes stomatal closure, and reduces xylem proliferation and expansion, and as a result, xylem hydraulic conductance. We further examined if gid1a performs better than the control M82 in the field. Under these conditions, the high redundancy of GID1s was lost and gid1a plants were semi-dwarf, but their productivity was not affected. Although gid1a did not perform better under drought conditions in the field, it exhibited a higher harvest index.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jxb/eraa137

    View details for Web of Science ID 000553121200022

    View details for PubMedID 32173726