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The fertilized egg is the single totipotent cell from which multicellular organisms arise through the processes of cell division and differentiation. While animals typically lose their capacity to redifferentiate cells that are already fully differentiated, plant cells are thought to remain totipotent (Su et al., 2020). Every gardener knows well that plants can regenerate a full array of plant tissues from already differentiated organs. This also seems to be true for single plant cells such as protoplasts, which, under proper in vitro culture conditions, served as the initial source for generation of transgenic plants (Skoog and Miller, 1957; Birnbaum and Sánchez Alvarado, 2008). However, the mechanisms behind the totipotency of plant cells remain elusive, with the exception of the knowledge that the developmental fate of regenerating tissues can be directed by the ratio of two plant hormones, auxin and cytokinin (Skoog and Miller, 1957). © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:


Ralf Welsch, Alisher Touraev, Klaus Palme. Small molecules mediate cellular reprogramming across two kingdoms. Journal of experimental botany. 2021 Dec 04;72(22):7645-7647

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PMID: 34865113

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