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Reconstitutive approach for investigating plant vascular development

Kondo, Yuki
Journal of plant research 2018 v.131 no.1 pp. 23-29
Arabidopsis thaliana, cambium, genetic analysis, phloem, tissue culture, xylem
Plants generate various tissues and organs via a strictly regulated developmental program. The plant vasculature is a complex tissue system consisting of xylem and phloem tissues with a layer of cambial cells in between. Multiple regulatory steps are involved in vascular development. Although molecular and genetic studies have uncovered a variety of key factors controlling vascular development, studies of the actual functions of these factors have been limited due to the inaccessibility of the plant vasculature. Thus, to obtain a different perspective, culture systems have been widely used to analyze the sequential processes that occur during vascular development. A tissue culture system known as VISUAL, in which molecular genetic analysis can easily be performed, was recently established in Arabidopsis thaliana. This reconstitutive approach to vascular development enables this process to be investigated quickly and easily. In this review, I summarize our recent knowledge of the regulatory mechanisms underlying vascular development and provide future perspectives on vascular analyses that can be performed using VISUAL.