Plant protoplasts provide a starting material to induce pluripotent cell masses in vitro competent for tissue regeneration. Dedifferentiation is associated with large-scale chromatin reorganisation and massive transcriptome reprogramming, characterized by stochastic gene expression. How this cellular variability reflects on chromatin organisation in individual cells and what are the factors influencing chromatin transitions during culturing is largely unknown. High-throughput imaging and a custom, supervised image analysis protocol extracting over 100 chromatin features unravelled a rapid, multiscale dynamics of chromatin patterns which trajectory strongly depends on nutrients availability. Decreased abundance in H1 (linker histones) is hallmark of chromatin transitions. We measured a high heterogeneity of chromatin patterns indicating an intrinsic entropy as hallmark of the initial cultures. We further measured an entropy decline over time, and an antagonistic influence by external and intrinsic factors, such as phytohormones and epigenetic modifiers, respectively. Collectively, our study benchmarks an approach to understand the variability and evolution of chromatin patterns underlying plant cell reprogramming in vitro.

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