SABRE is required for stabilization of root hair patterning in Arabidopsis thaliana
Physiol Plant. 2015, 153(3):440-453
Pietra S, Lang P, Grebe M
Patterned differentiation of distinct cell types is essential for the development of multicellular organisms. The root epidermis of Arabidopsis thaliana is composed of alternating files of root hair and non-hair cells and represents a model system for studying the control of cell fate acquisition. Epidermal cell fate is regulated by a network of genes that translate positional information from the underlying cortical cell layer into a specific pattern of differentiated cells. While much is known about the genes of this network, new players continue to be discovered. Here we show that the SABRE (SAB) gene, known to mediate microtubule organization, anisotropic cell growth and planar polarity, has an effect on root epidermal hair cell patterning. Loss of SAB function results in ectopic root hair formation and destabilizes the expression of cell fate and differentiation markers in the root epidermis, including expression of the WEREWOLF (WER) and GLABRA2 (GL2) genes. Double mutant analyses reveal that wer and caprice (cpc) mutants, defective in core components of the epidermal patterning pathway, genetically interact with sab. This suggests that SAB may act on epidermal patterning upstream of WER and CPC. Hence, we provide evidence for a role of SAB in root epidermal patterning by affecting cell fate stabilization. Our work opens the door for future studies addressing SAB-dependent functions of the cytoskeleton during root epidermal patterning.