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Applications of cell- and tissue-specific 'omics to improve plant productivity

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-05-18, 05:29 authored by Bhavna HurgobinBhavna Hurgobin, Mathew LewseyMathew Lewsey
The individual tissues and cell types of plants each have characteristic properties that contribute to the function of the plant as a whole. These are reflected by unique patterns of gene expression, protein and metabolite content, which enable cell-type-specific patterns of growth, development and physiology. Gene regulatory networks act within the cell types to govern the production and activity of these components. For the broader organism to grow and reproduce successfully, cell-type-specific activity must also function within the context of surrounding cell types, which is achieved by coordination of signalling pathways. We can investigate how gene regulatory networks are constructed and function using integrative 'omics technologies. Historically such experiments in plant biological research have been performed at the bulk tissue level, to organ resolution at best. In this review, we describe recent advances in cell- and tissue-specific 'omics technologies that allow investigation at much improved resolution. We discuss the advantages of these approaches for fundamental and translational plant biology, illustrated through the examples of specialised metabolism in medicinal plants and seed germination. We also discuss the challenges that must be overcome for such approaches to be adopted widely by the community.


Work in the Lewsey lab is funded by the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Hub in Medicinal Agriculture (IH180100006).


Publication Date



Emerging topics in life sciences






11p. (p. 163-173)


Portland Press



Rights Statement

© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and the Royal Society of Biology and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).