Multicellular eukaryotic organisms such as plants are composed of many cells and cell-types. While they share the same genetic information, each cell is characterized by the differential use of this information leading to the establishment of unique molecular, physiological, and morphological properties and cellular heterogeneity in the organism. Cellular heterogeneity is beneficial when considering plant development and differentiation, and resilience to environmental changes. Understanding the mechanisms giving rise to distinct cell types and precisely characterizing the molecular, biochemical, biophysical, and morphological attributes of each cell and cell-type in and between plant species remains a major goal for plant scientists. Despite such biological importance, these cellular attributes remain poorly described.
Recent technological advances including single-cell technologies open new avenues to reveal the unique attributes of plant cells and plant cell heterogeneity at the molecular, physiological, biochemical, biophysical, and morphological levels. The goal of this Research Topic is to bring together the latest advances and future perspectives in the field of plant cell biology including single-cell and single-cell-type -omics, integrated with functional and comparative genomics, physiological, biochemical, biophysical, and imaging approaches to enhance our understanding of cell heterogeneity in different plant tissues.
In the research topic "Cellular heterogeneity in plants", we invite researchers to submit original research manuscripts, methods papers, systematic reviews, mini-review perspectives, and opinions describing the differential and spatiotemporal behavior, response, and characteristics of plant cells. For instance, we welcome the submission of manuscripts describing the differential responses of plant cells to biotic and abiotic stresses, comparative evolutionary studies describing the levels of conservation and divergence of cellular processes between plant species, and cell fate specification and cell–cell communication that coordinate plant development. We will also consider contributions in other scientific fields including but not limited to:
• Single-cell and single cell-types –omics;
• Characterization of cell-type specific gene regulatory networks;
• Biochemical, biophysical, and morphological analysis of plant cells;
• Mass spectrometry imaging (metabolomics and proteomics).
Please note: Studies falling into the categories below will not be considered for review, unless they are expanded and provide insight into the biological system or process being studied:
i) Descriptive collection of transcripts, proteins or metabolites, including comparative sets as a result of different conditions or treatments;
ii) Descriptive studies that define gene families using basic phylogenetics and the assignment of cursory functional attributions (e.g. expression profiles, hormone or metabolites levels, promoter analysis, informatic parameters).