The Dynamics of Cambial Stem Cell Activity.
Stem cell populations in meristematic tissues at distinct locations in the plant body provide the potency of continuous plant growth. Primary meristems, at the apices of the plant body, contribute mainly to the elongation of the main plant axes, whereas secondary meristems in lateral positions are responsible for the thickening of these axes. The stem cells of the vascular cambium-a secondary lateral meristem-produce the secondary phloem (bast) and secondary xylem (wood). The sites of primary and secondary growth are spatially separated, and mobile signals are expected to coordinate growth rates between apical and lateral stem cell populations. Although the underlying mechanisms have not yet been uncovered, it seems likely that hormones, peptides, and mechanical cues orchestrate primary and secondary growth. In this review, we highlight the current knowledge and recent discoveries of how cambial stem cell activity is regulated, with a focus on mobile signals and the response of cambial activity to environmental and stress factors.