My laboratory studies how, at the cell scale, plants are able to robustly shape their organs during post-embryonic development. Our model is the formation of lateral root in Arabidopsis thaliana. Lateral roots are formed throughout the plant life from the primary root and develop from a discrete number of founder that proliferate and organise in a dome shaped primordium with a stereotyped tissue organisation.
We employ confocal and< span> light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) to capture at high spatial and temporal resolution the formation of lateral root. This allows us to describe and quantitatively analyse at an unprecedented level how lateral root founder cells and the overlying surrounding tissues actively collaborate during lateral root initiation and outgrowth. In particular, how the founder cells swell prior to entering division, how the overlying endodermal layer shrinks and how the primordium transition from a bilateral to a radially symmetric structure. We also combine quantitative analysis and mathematical modelling to elucidate how the typical layered organisation of the primordium comes to exist. I will present recent results on the remodelling of founder cell during the onset of lateral root formation, with a focus on the role of the microtubules and actin cytoskeleton.
We are also investigating the metabolic reprogramming associated with lateral root formation. We have identified the metabolic signature associated with lateral root formation. Our results indicate a prominent role of primary glucose metabolism and a key role for the TOR kinase in licensing lateral root development formation.