DOI: 10.1093/plphys/kiad456 ISSN:

SCHIZORIZA domain–function analysis identifies requirements for its specific role in cell fate segregation

Renan Pardal, Ben Scheres, Renze Heidstra
  • Plant Science
  • Genetics
  • Physiology


Plant development continues postembryonically with a lifelong ability to form new tissues and organs. Asymmetric cell division, coupled with fate segregation, is essential to create cellular diversity during tissue and organ formation. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants harboring mutations in the SCHIZORIZA (SCZ) gene display fate segregation defects in their roots, resulting in the presence of an additional layer of endodermis, production of root hairs from subepidermal tissue, and misexpression of several tissue identity markers. Some of these defects are observed in tissues where SCZ is not expressed, indicating that part of the SCZ function is nonautonomous. As a class B HEAT-SHOCK TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR (HSFB), the SCZ protein contains several conserved domains and motifs. However, which domain(s) discriminates SCZ from its family members to obtain a role in development remains unknown. Here, we investigate how each domain contributes to SCZ function in Arabidopsis root patterning by generating altered versions of SCZ by domain swapping and mutation. We show that the SCZ DNA-binding domain is the main factor for its developmental function, and that SCZ likely acts as a nonmotile transcriptional repressor. Our results demonstrate how members of the HSF family can evolve toward functions beyond stress response.

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