JCJC - Jeunes chercheuses & jeunes chercheurs

Auxin signal transduction and the control of cell fate in the shoot apical meristem – AuxFate

Submission summary

Plants have a unique capacity for continuous postembryonic development linked to the existence of permanent stem cell niches, called meristems. Shoot apical meristems (SAMs) are located at the tips of stems and branches. They generate organs throughout the life of the plant and are at the basis of plant architecture, allowing plants to adapt their development to their environment. A better understanding of meristem function is not only relevant to stem cell research but is also an essential basis for the development of plant varieties that are better adapted to a range of environments. The plant hormone auxin is a central developmental signal. In the shoot apical meristem, auxin is essential for lateral organ initiation most probably through its action on cell fate determination. However little is known on the molecular mechanism involved and notably on how the auxin signal is perceived in the meristem and how it is translated into changes in cell fate and cell behavior. The aim of this project is to elucidate how the auxin signal is perceived and transduced in the meristem and how this generates the specific developmental response of organ initiation. To this end, we propose a systems biology approach combining genomics, genetics and modeling. Specifically we will first identify the components of the auxin signal transduction pathway in the meristem and study how these components interact with each other. Second, we will perform a time course analysis of the transcriptome during organ initiation to identify the components of the downstream gene network controlled by auxin during this developmental process. We will then use a gene network modeling approach to analyze the data and to identify candidate key targets linking auxin to cell fate control. The function of a selection of these candidate genes will then be further studied. Finally, we will use a simple suppressor screen to identify new co-factors involved in auxin-mediated organ initiation that might not be identified in the previous approaches. The proposed work will allow us not only to understand how the auxin signal functions in the meristem but will also provide crucial information to understand how the generic auxin signal can generate specific responses. More generally, the elucidation of the auxin-dependent gene network in the meristem will generate essential data on the behavior of gene networks during development.

Project coordination

Teva VERNOUX (Organisme de recherche)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Help of the ANR 250,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months

Useful links

Explorez notre base de projets financés



ANR makes available its datasets on funded projects, click here to find more.

Sign up for the latest news:
Subscribe to our newsletter