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Profiling the onset of somatic embryogenesis in Arabidopsis

Abstract : Background: Totipotency is the ability of a cell to regenerate a whole organism. Plant somatic embryogenesis (SE) is a remarkable example of totipotency because somatic cells reverse differentiation, respond to an appropriate stimulus and initiate embryo development. Although SE is an ideal system to investigate de-differentiation and differentiation, we still lack a deep molecular understanding of the phenomenon due to experimental restraints. Results: We applied the INTACT method to specifically isolate the nuclei of those cells undergoing SE among the majority of non-embryogenic cells that make up a callus. We compared the transcriptome of embryogenic cells to the one of proliferating callus cells. Our analyses revealed that embryogenic cells are transcriptionally rather than metabolically active. Embryogenic cells shut off biochemical pathways involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and activate the transcriptional machinery. Furthermore, we show how early in SE, ground tissue and leaf primordia specification are switched on before the specification of a shoot apical meristem. Conclusions: This is the first attempt to specifically profile embryogenic cells among the different cell types that constitute plant in vitro tissue cultures. Our comparative analyses provide insights in the gene networks regulating SE and open new research avenues in the field of plant regeneration.
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Enrico Magnani, José Jimenez-Gomez, Ludivine Soubigou-Taconnat, Loic Lepiniec, Elisa Fiume. Profiling the onset of somatic embryogenesis in Arabidopsis. BMC Genomics, BioMed Central, 2017, 18, pp.1-12. ⟨10.1186/s12864-017-4391-1⟩. ⟨hal-02624612⟩

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