Synchronous elicitation of development in root caps induces transient gene expression changes common to legume and gymnosperm species

Fushi Wen, Ho Hyung Woo, Elizabeth A. Pierson, Toril D. Eldhuset, C. G. Fossdal, N. E. Nagy, Martha C. Hawes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Root cap development in cereals and legumes is self-regulated by a repressor that accumulates in the extracellular environment, and immersing the root tip into water results in renewed cap development. By exploiting this phenomenon, root cap mitosis and differentiation can be synchronously induced among populations. In Pisum sativum L., messenger RNA (mRNA) differential display revealed changes in expression of approximately 1% of the sample mRNA population within minutes of induced cap turnover. This profile changes sequentially over a period of 30 min, then stabilizes. Microarray analysis of Medicago truncatula root caps confirmed changes in expression of approximately 1% of the target population, within minutes. A cell specific marker for cap turnover exhibited the same temporal and spatial expression profile in the gymnosperm species Norway spruce (Picea abies) as in pea. Induced cap development provides a means to profile cell-specific gene expression among phylogenetically diverse species from the early moments of mitosis and cellular differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-68
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Molecular Biology Reporter
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009



  • Border cells
  • Cell cycle
  • Gymnosperm
  • Microarray
  • Root cap development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science

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