Toward improvement of tissue culture technique: depicting a global picture of gene regulatory network for plant regeneration

February 15, 2018

Plants are generally acknowledged to have a high capacity of organ regeneration, and they can even reconstruct entire organism from a small piece of explant. Humans utilize this regenerative capability in a broad range of application of tissue culture, such as mass production of ornamental plants and as a tool for genetic modification. Yet further improvement of tissue culture technique is awaited, because some important crop cultivars remain recalcitrant. Fundamental understandings of the basic mechanisms of plant regeneration is expected to circumvent these difficulties. Recent studies identified key genes regulating organ regeneration, and now it is important to grasp the global architecture of the regulatory relationships among them.

An international collaborative research group from RIKEN CSRS, University of California, Davis and University of Cambridge has successfully elucidated the overall gene regulatory network responsible for organ regeneration in plants.

The research group comprehensively examined regulatory relationships among genes using the yeast-one hybrid method, and identified 1162 interactions between 252 transcription factors and the regulatory regions (promoters) of 48 genes. A network analysis identified ESR 1 and PLT 3 as critical nodes of the network, which are already known to play important roles in regeneration. Interestingly, the researchers identified HSFB 1 as another critical node, known as a mediator of heat stress response. This unexpected finding raises a possibility that HSFB1 may regulate organ regeneration. This study provides valuable resources for the research community, which are expected to eventually help improve tissue culture technologies for agricultural crops.

Original article
Plant and Cell Physiology doi:10.1093/pcp/pcy013
M. Ikeuchi, M. Shibata, B. Rymen, A. Iwase, A.-M. Bågman, L. Watt, D. Coleman, D. S. Favero, T. Takahashi, S. E. Ahnert, S. M. Brady, K. Sugimoto,
"A gene regulatory network for cellular reprogramming in plant regeneration".
Keiko Sugimoto; Team Leader
Momoko Ikeuchi; Visiting Researcher
Michitaro Shibata; Visiting Researcher
Cell Function Research Team