JACKDAW controls epidermal patterning in the Arabidopsis root meristem through a non-cell-autonomous mechanism

Hala Hassan, Ben Scheres, Ikram Blilou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


In Arabidopsis, specification of the hair and non-hair epidermal cell types is position dependent, in that hair cells arise over clefts in the underlying cortical cell layer. Epidermal patterning is determined by a network of transcriptional regulators that respond to an as yet unknown cue from underlying tissues. Previously, we showed that JACKDAW (JKD), a zinc finger protein, localizes in the quiescent centre and the ground tissue, and regulates tissue boundaries and asymmetric cell division by delimiting SHORT-ROOT movement. Here, we provide evidence that JKD controls position-dependent signals that regulate epidermal-cell-type patterning. JKD is required for appropriately patterned expression of the epidermal cell fate regulators GLABRA2, CAPRICE and WEREWOLF. Genetic interaction studies indicate that JKD operates upstream of the epidermal patterning network in a SCRAMBLED (SCM)-dependent fashion after embryogenesis, but acts independent of SCM in embryogenesis. Tissue-specific induction experiments indicate non-cell-autonomous action of JKD from the underlying cortex cell layer to specify epidermal cell fate. Our findings are consistent with a model where JKD induces a signal in every cortex cell that is more abundant in the hair cell position owing to the larger surface contact of cells located over a cleft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1523-1529
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabidopsis
  • Epidermal patterning
  • Position-dependent signals
  • Root hairs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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