Digital Single-Cell Analysis of Plant Organ Development Using 3DCellAtlas

Thomas Johnson, Petra Stamm, Soeren Strauss, Alexander T Topham, Michail Tsagris, Andrew T A Wood, Richard S Smith, George W Bassel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Diverse molecular networks underlying plant growth and development are rapidly being uncovered. Integrating these data into the spatial and temporal context of dynamic organ growth remains a technical challenge. We developed 3DCellAtlas, an integrative computational pipeline that semiautomatically identifies cell types and quantifies both 3D cellular anisotropy and reporter abundance at single-cell resolution across whole plant organs. Cell identification is no less than 97.8% accurate and does not require transgenic lineage markers or reference atlases. Cell positions within organs are defined using an internal indexing system generating cellular level organ atlases where data from multiple samples can be integrated. Using this approach, we quantified the organ-wide cell-type-specific 3D cellular anisotropy driving Arabidopsis thaliana hypocotyl elongation. The impact ethylene has on hypocotyl 3D cell anisotropy identified the preferential growth of endodermis in response to this hormone. The spatiotemporal dynamics of the endogenous DELLA protein RGA, expansin gene EXPA3, and cell expansion was quantified within distinct cell types of Arabidopsis roots. A significant regulatory relationship between RGA, EXPA3, and growth was present in the epidermis and endodermis. The use of single-cell analyses of plant development enables the dynamics of diverse regulatory networks to be integrated with 3D organ growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-33
Number of pages16
JournalThe Plant Cell
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

Author Thomas Johnson, writes under Montenegro-Johnson


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