Thematic Programs

Plant Stem Cells: Source of Plant Vitality


Program Theme

The main theme of this program is plant stem cells. Stem cells are the foundation for every organ. Unlike stem cells in animals, plant stem cells can form after embryogenesis and are dispersed throughout the body of the plant. Moreover, plant stem cells can form de novo from differentiated cells. This extraordinary ability is the source of the plant' s incredible developmental plasticity and vitality. Understanding the molecular basis of this unique property of plant stem cells – the principle of pluripotency – is the ultimate purpose of this program
This program aims to create a new field of research – the study of plant stem cells. To achieve this, we have three specific goals; 1) the creation of a new international hub for this study, 2) to inspire young researchers and students, in particular women, to pursue careers in science and contribute to this research field, and 3) to show the public that biology is fun and rewarding. All animals, including humans, rely on plants for energy, so an understanding of plant stem cells is critical to ensure a supply of food into the future. Therefore, the theme of this program is not only important in terms of answering fundamental questions in biology, it is also crucial for human welfare.


Pre-event: The frontier of iPS/ES cell research and ethics  [Feb. 5, 2019 Updated]
(February 12, 2019)

International Symposium: Principles of pluripotent stem cells underlying plant vitality  [May 10, 2019 Updated]
(May 11, 2019 – May 14, 2019)

Workshop 1: Stem cells and plant reproduction  [Apr. 24, 2019 Updated]
(May 15, 2019)

Workshop 2: Auxin and plant stem cells  [Apr. 24, 2019 Updated]
(May 20, 2019 – May 21, 2019)

Public outreach program: New Horizon in Biology  [Jun. 10, 2019 Updated]
(July 13, 2019)


Junko Kyozuka
(Professor, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University)

Masaaki Umeda
(Professor, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology)

Shinjiro Yamaguchi
(Professor, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University)

David Jackson
(Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)


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Principles of pluripotent stem cells underlying plant vitality