Shoot meristems are maintained by pluripotent stem cells that are controlled by CLAVATA-WUSCHEL feedback signaling. This pathway, which coordinates stem cell proliferation with differentiation, was first identified in Arabidopsis, but appears to be conserved in diverse higher plant species. In this Review, we highlight the commonalities and differences between CLAVATA-WUSCHEL pathways in different species, with an emphasis on Arabidopsis, maize, rice and tomato. We focus on stem cell control in shoot meristems, but also briefly discuss the role of these signaling components in root meristems.
The authors declare no competing or financial interests.
Funding to D.J. is acknowledged from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative [competitive grant 2016-67013-24572] of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program [grants # IOS-1238202 and MCB-1027445]. Funding to R.S. is acknowledged from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft [grant SFB590] and the Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences [CEPLAS, EXC1028].