Root dynamics

Blackman Lecture

To understand the dynamics of root cell specification and root growth we have developed new experimental, analytical and monitoring methods. To identify networks functioning within different cell types and developmental stages of the root we generated an atlas based on single cell RNA sequencing of over 100,000 cells. We have used the atlas as a reference to gain insights into root development in other species, in mutants and in time-series responses to stimuli. We are particularly interested in the regulation of a key asymmetric cell division of a stem cell in the root. To quantify dynamic aspects of this process, we used high resolution time-lapse imaging of living roots to quantify accumulation of the transcriptional regulators. In work with Hi Fidelity Technologies we have developed a technology platform able to monitor root growth in soil in controlled environments and under field conditions. These results are being used in a program to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from crops.