Cell size: a key determinant of meristematic potential in plant protoplasts

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Metabolic pathway reconstruction and gene edits for native natural product synthesis in single plant cells are considered to be less complicated when compared to the production of non-native metabolites. Being an efficient eukaryotic system, plants encompass suitable post-translational modifications. However, slow cell division rate and heterogeneous nature is an impediment for consistent product retrieval from plant cells. Plant cell synchrony can be attained in cultures developed in vitro. Isolated plant protoplasts capable of division, can potentially enhance the unimpaired yield of target bioactives, similar to microbes and unicellular eukaryotes. Evidence from yeast experiments suggests that ‘critical cell size’ and division rates for enhancement machinery, primarily depend on culture conditions and nutrient availability. The cell size control mechanisms in Arabidopsis shoot apical meristem is analogous to yeast notably, fission yeast. If protoplasts isolated from plants are subjected to cell size studies and cell cycle progression in culture, it will answer the underlying molecular mechanisms such as, unicellular to multicellular transition states, longevity, senescence, ‘cell-size resetting’ during organogenesis, and adaptation to external cues.

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