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Meyerowitz Group

Elliot Meyerowitz

Distinguished Associate

Laboratory's Inaugural Director (Jan 2011-Dec 2012)

Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge
University of Cambridge
Bateman Street

Cambridge CB2 1LR

Office Phone: 01223 761107

Research Interests

My laboratory has the goal of understanding the mechanisms of plant development, using both experimental and computational methods to test hypotheses. We concentrate on the shoot apical meristem and its derivative structures (primarily flowers), because this meristem is responsible for the development of the entire above-ground part of the mature plant, and utilizes a number of different pattern-forming processes that are as yet poorly understood. Our experimental organism is predominantly Arabidopsis thaliana, because of the ease with which genetic and molecular biological studies can be done using that model system. We also use other plant species in the laboratory when they offer an experimental advantage. Our method of study is what we have termed Computational Morphodynamics – the combination of real-time live imaging to capture the dynamics of plant development, couching our hypotheses as mathematical models (so as to be absolutely explicit about assumptions and parameters), and then testing them computationally and experimentally. We concentrate on three processes in plant development - the development of flowers, the growth of shoots, and the de novo generation of shoot meristems during regeneration.

Key Publications

Luo, C.J., Wightman, R., Meyerowitz, E.M., and Smoukov, S. (2015) 3D fibre scaffold as an investigative tool for studying the morphogenesis of isolated plant cells. BMC Plant Biology, in press. 

Wang, Y., Wang, J., Shi, B., Yu, T. Qi. J., Meyerowitz, E.M. and Jiao, Y. (2014) Leaf axil stem cell niche establishment by hormones.  Plant Cell, in press.

Sampathkumar, A., Yan, A., Krupinski, P. and  Meyerowitz, E.M. (2014) Physical forces regulate plant development and morphogenesis. Curr. Biol.24, R475-R483.

Zhou, Y., Liu, X., Engstrom, E.M., Nimchuk, Z.L., Pruneda-Paz, J., Tarr, P.T., Yan, A., Kay, S.A., and Meyerowitz, E.M. (2014) Dual control of plant stem cell production by conserved interactions between HAIRY MERISTEM and WUSCHEL/ WOX families of transcriptional regulators. Nature, submitted for publication.

Sampathkumar, A., Krupinski, P., Wightman, R., Milani, P., Berquand, A., Boudaoud, A., Hamant, O., Jönsson, H. and Meyerowitz, E.M. (2014) Subcellular and supracellular mechanical stress prescribes cytoskeleton behavior in Arabidopsis cotyledon cells.  eLife 2014;3:e01967 DOI:

Wellmer, F; Bowman, J.L., Davies, B., Férrandiz, C., Fletcher, J.C., Franks, R.G., Graciet, E., Gregis, V., Ito, T., Jack, T.P., Jiao, Y., Kater, M.M., Ma, H., Meyerowitz, E.M., Prunet, N., and Riechmann, J.L. (2014) Flower development: Open questions and future directions.  Methods in Molecular Biology 1110, 103-124.

Shapiro, B.E., Meyerowitz, E.M. and Mjolsness, E.M. (2013) Using Cellzilla for Plant Growth Simulations. Frontiers in Plant Science doi: 10.3389/fpls.2013.00408

Li, W., Zhou, Y., Liu, X., Yu, P., Cohen, J. D., & Meyerowitz, E. M. (2013). LEAFY controls auxin response pathways in floral primordium formation. Science Signaling, 6(270), ra23. doi:10.1126/scisignal.2003937 PMID: 23572147

Zhang, X., Zhou, Y., Lian, D., Wu, S., Liu, R. and Meyerowitz, E.M. (2013) Transcription repressor HANABA TARANU (HAN) controls flower development via integrating multiple hormone actions, floral organ specification and GATA3 family auto-regulation. Plant Cell 25, 83-101. PMID: 23335616

Sugimoto, K. and Meyerowitz, E.M. (2013) Regeneration in Arabidopsis tissue culture. In Methods in Molecular Biology: Plant Organogenesis, ed. I. de Smet, Springer, pp. 265-276, ISBN 978-1-62703-220-9. PMID: 23299682

Bowman, J.L., Smyth, D.R. and Meyerowitz, E.M. (2012) The ABC model of flower development: then and now. Development 139, 4095-4098. doi:10.1242/dev.083972 PMID: 23093420

Roeder, A.H.K., Cunha, A., Ohno, C.K. and Meyerowitz, E.M. (2012) Cell cycle regulates cell type in the Arabidopsis sepal.  Development 139, 4416-4427. doi: 10.1242/dev.082925 PMID: 23095885

Segonzac, C., Nimchuk, Z.L., Beck, M., Tarr, P.T., Robatzek, S., Meyerowitz, E.M. and Zipfel, C. (2012) The shoot apical meristem regulatory peptide CLV3 does not activate innate immunity. Plant Cell 24, 3186-3192. doi: 10.1105/tpc.111.091264 PMID: 22923673

Roeder, A.H.K., Cunha, A., Burl, M.C. and Meyerowitz, E.M. (2012) Computational image analysis glossary for biologists. Development 139, 3071-3080. doi: 10.1242/dev.076414 PMID: 22872081

Chickarmane, V.S., Gordon, S.P., Tarr, P.T., Heisler, M.G. and Meyerowitz, E.M. (2012) Cytokinin signaling as a positional cue for patterning the apical-basal axis of the growing Arabidopsis shoot meristem. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA, 109, 4002-4007  doi: 10.1073/pnas.1200636109  PMCID: PMC3309735 PMID: 22345559

Cunha, A., Tarr, P.T., Roeder, A.H.K., Altinok, A., Mjolsness, E. and Meyerowitz, E.M. (2012) Computational analysis of live cell images of the Arabidopsis thaliana plant.  Methods Cell Biol. 110, 285-323. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-38803-9.00012-6 PMID: 22482954