Plant cellular responses are much more locally and temporally specialized than previously thought, a new study suggests. In growing Arabidopsis roots, different tissue layers respond to stressful conditions in highly cell-type specific ways, according to linkurl:research;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/115379 published online today (April 24) in Science. "By and large, plants have been viewed as single, uniform entities," said linkurl:Philip Benfey;http://www.biology.duke.edu/benfeylab/ of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who led the study. "But we saw dramatic differences between cell types that we could trace back to physiological — and probably adaptive — differences." "They can actually distinguish stress-specific and development-specific cis-regulatory elements," said linkurl:Hans Bohnert;http://www.life.uiuc.edu/bohnert/ of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who was not involved in the research. "They're on their way to explaining the whole plant." Plants grown on marginal linkurl:agricultural;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/52943/ lands are often exposed to high levels of salt or low levels of essential nutrients, which can have complex effects...
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