Lieven De Veylder, VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, Belgium
Charles Melnyk, Plant Biology, SLU
VHC, Audhumbla, SLU
14:00 - 15:00
Replenishing DNA damaged stem cells: A license to kill

Injury-induced regeneration represents a self-preserving mechanism over many lifeforms. Among the metazoans regeneration is frequently restricted to tissue repair. Contrary, plants display an unrivaled regeneration capacity that not only restores damaged tissues and organs, but can also give rise to whole plant bodies, allowing them to survive severe stress conditions. This unmatched regeneration competence is intrinsically linked to the ability to maintain functional stem cells. We identified in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana an unique and novel regulator that is instantly induced by wounded cells and that plays an essential role in the replenishment of damaged stem cells, being a transcription factor nominated ERF115. Upon its induction, ERF115 activates cell divisions that replenish the collapsed stem cells, in such manner aiding full stem cell niche recovery upon root tip excision. We conclude that ERF115 accounts for the high regenerative potential of plants, granting them the ability to efficiently replace damaged cells with new ones.