Epidermal Signalling and the Control of Plant Shoot Growth

Gwyneth C. Ingram

Institute of Molecular Plant Science, Daniel Rutherford Building, Kings Buildings,

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JR, UK

[email protected]

Abstract Although the epidermal cell-layer is of undisputed physiological importance to all angiosperms, its potential role in controlling the growth of plant organs has remained a subject of research and contention for more than a century. Recent advances in our understanding of the molecular control of plant cell proliferation, growth and specification, in combination with novel biotechnological techniques, have provided new tools for addressing the control of organ growth control. New data have also elucidated the mechanisms via which plant cells communicate and, taken with classical studies, provide tantalising vistas into the mechanisms controlling co-ordinated organ growth. However, despite this explosion in knowledge, a clear picture of the contribution of specific cell-types, including the epidermis, to the regulation of growth and morphogenesis in plant organs remains elusive.

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