Global studies of cell type-specific gene expression in plants

David W. Galbraith, Kenneth Birnbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Technological advances in expression profiling and in the ability to collect minute quantities of tissues have come together to allow a growing number of global transcriptional studies at the cell level in plants. Microarray technology, with a choice of cDNA or oligo-based slides, is now well established, with commercial full-genome platforms for rice and Arabidopsis and extensive expressed sequence tag (EST)-based designs for many other species. Microdissection and cell sorting are two established methodologies that have been used in conjunction with microarrays to provide an early glimpse of the transcriptional landscape at the level of individual cell types. The results indicate that much of the transcriptome is compartmentalized. A minor but consistent percentage of transcripts appear to be unique to specific cell types. Functional analyses of cell-specific patterns of gene expression are providing important clues to cell-specific functions. The spatial dissection of the transcriptome has also yielded insights into the localized mediators of hormone inputs and promises to provide detail on cell-specific effects of microRNAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-475
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Plant Biology
StatePublished - 2006


  • Cell identity
  • Cell-specific expression analysis
  • Differentiation
  • Microdissection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Global studies of cell type-specific gene expression in plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this