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Researchers Use RNA Sequencing to Track Cellular Development

The group of Researchers led by Bergmann and postdoctoral scholar Camila Lopez-Anido, Researchers used single-cell RNA Sequencing technologies to track genetic activity in nearly 20,000 cells that formed the surface and inner parts of an Arabidopsis leaf.

This was the highly detailed technique, the Researchers found the transient and rare cell states and found a surprising abundance of ambiguity in how cells traversed various identities, particularly early on within the stem cell population. Bergmann, who is the Shirley R. and Leonard W. Ely, Jr. Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and senior author of the study said that the cells are coordinated and all individuals with their own genetic programs.

The senior author also added that they are working to appreciate that balance between seeing what’s new and special and unique about each one while also recognizing how they are working together. While many scientists in this field focus on fruit flies and roundworms, some aspects of biological development will only be understood by studying other organisms – such as the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which is the Bergmann lab’s specialty.

Lopez-Anido, who is the lead author of the study said that they think about flexibility and resilience in the face of a changing world, we want to learn more about how organisms can manage to build functional bodies when they are under stress or exposed to extreme environments. They also require research with organisms that have flexible and tunable lifestyles, such as plants. Researchers also found the differences in the new stem cells regulated transitions between cell types relative to old stem cells; and whereas they had previously known of core steps in cell differentiation, they saw there were actually many small, seemingly continuous steps along the way

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