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Publication - Dr Jill Harrison

    CLAVATA Was a Genetic Novelty for the Morphological Innovation of 3D Growth in Land Plants


    Whitewoods, C, Cammarata, J, Venza, ZN, Sang, S, Crook, A, Aoyama, T, Wang, XY, Waller, M, Kamisugi, Y, Cuming, A, Szövényi, P, Nimchuk, Z, Roeder, A, Scanlon, M & Harrison, CJ, 2018, ‘CLAVATA Was a Genetic Novelty for the Morphological Innovation of 3D Growth in Land Plants’. Current Biology, vol 28., pp. 2365-2376.e5


    How genes shape diverse plant and animal body forms is a key
    question in biology. Unlike animal cells, plant cells are confined by
    rigid cell walls, and cell division plane orientation and growth rather than cell movement
    determine overall body form. The emergence of plants on land coincided
    with a new capacity to rotate stem cell divisions through multiple
    planes, and this enabled three-dimensional (3D) forms to arise from
    ancestral forms constrained to 2D growth. The genes involved in this
    evolutionary innovation are largely unknown. The evolution of 3D growth
    is recapitulated during the development of modern mosses when leafy
    shoots arise from a filamentous (2D) precursor tissue. Here, we show
    that a conserved, CLAVATA peptide and receptor-like kinase pathway originated with land plants and orients stem cell division planes during the transition from 2D to 3D growth in a moss, Physcomitrella. We find that this newly identified role for CLAVATA in regulating cell division plane orientation is shared between Physcomitrella and Arabidopsis. We report that roles for CLAVATA in regulating cell proliferation and cell fate are also shared and that CLAVATA-like peptides act via conserved receptor components in Physcomitrella. Our results suggest that CLAVATA was a genetic novelty enabling the morphological innovation of 3D growth in land plants.

    Full details in the University publications repository