Stress induces cell dedifferentiation in plants

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40 Scopus citations


Accumulating evidence lends support to the proposal that a major theme in plant responses to stresses is dedifferentiation, whereby mature cells acquire stem cell features (e.g. open chromatin conformation) prior to acquisition of a new cell fate. In this review, we discuss data addressing plant cell plasticity and provide evidence linking stress, dedifferentiation and a switch in cell fate. We emphasize the epigenetic modifications associated with stress-induced global changes in chromatin structure and conclude with the implications for genetic variation and for induced pluripotent stem cells in animals. It appears that stress is perceived as a signal that directs plant cells to undergo reprogramming (dedifferentiation) as a means for adaptation and in preparation for a stimulus-based acquisition of a new cell fate. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Stress as a fundamental theme in cell plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-384
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Chromatin conformation
  • Dedifferentiation
  • Epigenetics
  • Genetic variation
  • Stem cells
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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