The cell layers of the Arabidopsis primary root are arranged in a simple radial pattern. The outermost layer is the lateral root cap and lies outside the epidermis that surrounds the ground tissue. The files of epidermal and lateral root cap cells converge on a ring of initials (lateral root cap/epidermis initial) from which the epidermal and lateral root cap tissues of the seedling are derived, once root growth is initiated after germination. Each initial gives rise to a clone of epidermal cells and a clone of lateral root cap cells. These initial divisions in the epidermal/lateral root cap initial are defective in tornado1 (trn1) and trn2 plants indicating a requirement for TRN1 and TRN2 for initial cell function. Furthermore, lateral root cap cells develop in the epidermal position in trn1 and trn2 roots indicating that TRN1 and TRN2 are required for the maintenance of the radial pattern of cell specification in the root. The death of these ectopic lateral root cap cells in the elongation zone (where lateral root cap cells normally die) results in the development of gaps in the epidermis. These observations indicate that TRN1 and TRN2 are required to maintain the distinction between the lateral root cap and epidermis and suggest that lateral root cap fate is the default state. It also suggests that TRN1 and TRN2 repress lateral root cap fate in cells in the epidermal location. Furthermore, the position-dependent pattern of root hair and non-root hair cell differentiation in the epidermis is defective in trn1 and trn2 mutants. Together these results indicate that TRN1 and TRN2 are required for the maintenance of both the radial pattern of tissue differentiation in the root and for the subsequent circumferential pattern within the epidermis.

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