Review: Uncovering gene regulatory networks controlling plant cell differentiation ($)

The transparency and simplicity of the Arabidopsis root apex has made it an excellent model through which to understand the processes that lead from undifferentiated meristem cells to mature root tissues. Drapek et al. review the gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that underlie the development of the endodermis in Arabidopsis root tips. They first summarize the roles of transcription factors including mobile transcription factors (those that move between cells) in the specification of the endodermal cells, and then they discuss the GRNs that control the differentiation of endodermal cells including the proper formation of the Casparian strip.  They conclude by describing outstanding questions and new approaches. Trends Genetics 10.1016/j.tig.2017.05.002