Root Architecture : Known and Unknown Facts
Root is the most amazing part of a plant to answer so many questions. Over the decades, it's become popular among plant scientist to study because of the simplicity of its organization and stereotyped developmental program.
Philip Benfey from Duke University is one of the leading scientist of root developmental research and his study focus is to know how cells divide and acquire their identities in root. These discoveries originated with screens for mutants with roots that had altered cell division potential. Characterization of these mutants revealed alterations in cell division and cell identity leading to dramatic changes in the radial pattern of the root. His lab has isolated the genes mutated in these lines and found that several of them encode transcriptional regulators. One of these called SHORT-ROOT is made in the vascular cylinder of the root and then moves to the adjacent tissue where it activates the expression of a second transcription factor, SCARECROW. The SHORT-ROOT/SCARECROW pathway has been shown to play a central role in radial patterning as well as in specifying the stem cell niche known as the quiescent center.
I read several papers of this field in last few months and presented also. But, I've found one video lecture of him, where he shared his all discoveries and related work from other lab from past years. That's an amazing talk to listen and share.
Plenary lecture by Philip Benfey, Duke University and HHMI entitled 'A systems approach to improved root traits. This lecture took place during the New Phytologist next generation scientists conference, held at the John Innes Centre in July 2014