PLETHORA-WOX5 interaction and subnuclear localization control Arabidopsis root stem cell maintenance

Rebecca C Burkart, Vivien I Strotmann, Gwendolyn Kristin Kirschner, Abdullah Akinci, Laura Czempik, Anika Dolata, Alexis Maizel, Stefanie Weidtkamp-Peters, Yvonne Stahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Maintenance and homeostasis of the stem cell niche (SCN) in the Arabidopsis root is essential for growth and development of all root cell types. The SCN is organized around a quiescent center (QC) maintaining the stemness of cells in direct contact. The key transcription factors (TFs) WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX 5 (WOX5) and PLETHORAs (PLTs) are expressed in the SCN where they maintain the QC and regulate distal columella stem cell (CSC) fate. Here, we describe the concerted mutual regulation of the key TFs WOX5 and PLTs on a transcriptional and protein interaction level. Additionally, by applying a novel SCN staining method, we demonstrate that both WOX5 and PLTs regulate root SCN homeostasis as they control QC quiescence and CSC fate interdependently. Moreover, we uncover that some PLTs, especially PLT3, contain intrinsically disordered prion-like domains (PrDs) that are necessary for complex formation with WOX5 and its recruitment to subnuclear microdomains/nuclear bodies (NBs) in the CSCs. We propose that this partitioning of PLT-WOX5 complexes to NBs, possibly by phase separation, is important for CSC fate determination.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEMBO Reports
StatePublished - Apr 4 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-04-15
Acknowledgements: We would like to acknowledge funding of R.C.B. by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) through grant Sta1212/1-1 to Y.S. We thank Andrea Bleckmann for sharing the Greengate Cerulean construct, Renze Heidstra, and Ben Scheres for sharing published lines (PLT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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