Journal Article

Principal growth directions in development of the lateral root in <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i>

Joanna Szymanowska-Pułka, Izabela Potocka, Jerzy Karczewski, Keni Jiang, Jerzy Nakielski and Lewis J. Feldman

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 110, issue 2, pages 491-501
Published in print July 2012 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online June 2012 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:
Principal growth directions in development of the lateral root in Arabidopsis thaliana

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Background and Aims

During lateral root development a new meristem is formed within the mother root body. The main objective of this work was to simulate lateral root formation in Arabidopsis thaliana and to study a potential role of the principal directions in this process. Lateral root growth is anisotropic, so that three principal directions of growth can be distinguished within the organ. This suggests a tensorial character of growth and allows for its description by means of the growth tensor method.


First features of the cell pattern of developing lateral roots were analysed in A. thaliana and then a tensorial model for growth and division of cells for this case was specified, assuming an unsteady character of the growth field of the organ.

Key Results

Microscopic observations provide evidence that the principal directions of growth are manifested at various developmental stages by oblique cell walls observed in different regions of the primordium. Other significant features observed are atypically shaped large cells at the flanks of young apices, as well as distinct boundaries between the mother root and the primordium. Simulations were performed using a model for growth. In computer-generated sequences the above-mentioned features could be identified. An attempt was made to reconstruct the virtual lateral root that included a consideration of the formation of particular tissue types based on literature data.


In the cell pattern of the developing lateral root the principal directions of growth can be recognized through occurrence of oblique cell divisions. In simulation the role of these directions in cell pattern formation was confirmed, only when cells divide with respect to the principal directions can realistic results be obtained.

Keywords: Lateral root formation; principal directions of growth; plant organ modelling; Arabidopsis thaliana

Journal Article.  7683 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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