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Torii, Keiko

Keiko Torii

Molecular Biosciences, College of Natural Sciences

Johnson & Johnson Centennial Chair in Plant Cell Biology

Shaping Patterns in Plant Development


Office Location
NMS 5.104A

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712



We study how positional cues govern tissue patterning and organ shape, and how lineage-specific stem cells are initiated, maintained or terminally differentiate during plant development. To address such fundamental questions in developmental biology, we use patterning and differentiation of stomata as a model. Stomata are small valves serving as an interface between plants and atmosphere, and their presence is essential for plant survival and our global environment. We revealed that intricate cell-cell communications mediated by small chemical signals influence the pattern of stem cell divisions and fate specification. We aim to elucidate how functional tissue patterns are generated using cross-disciplinary approaches. Torii lab will be relocating from the University of Washington, Seattle, in Autumn 2019.

(Selected publications)

Putarjunan, A., Ruble, J., Srivastava, A., Zhao, C., Rychel, A.L., Hofstetter, A.K., Tang, X., Zhu, J.K., Tama, F., *Zheng, N., and *Torii, K.U. (2019) Bipartite anchoring of SCREAM enforces stomatal initiation by coupling MAP Kinases to SPEECHLESS. Nature Plants 5: 742-754

Perraki, A., DeFalco, T., Derbyshire, P., Avila, J., Sere, D., Sklenar, J., Qi, X., Stransfeld, L, Schwessigner, B., Kadota, Y., Macho, A.P., Jiang, S., Coudo, D., Torii, K.U., Menke, F.L.H., and *Zipfel, C. Phosphocode-dependent functional dichotomy of a receptor in plant signaling. Nature 561: 248-252

*Torii, K.U., Takahashi, K., Uchida, N., and Hagihara, S. (2018) Harnessing synthetic chemistry to probe and hijack auxin signaling. New Phytologist 220: 417-424

Fendrych, M., Akhmanova, M., Merrin, J., Glanc, M., Hagihara, S., Takahashi, K., Uchida, N., Torii, K.U., and *Friml. J. (2018) Rapid root growth brake by TIR1 auxin signaling. Nature Plants 4:453-459

Han, S.K., Qi, X., K. Sugihara, Endo, T.A., Dang, J.H., Miura, T., Miller, K.A., Kim, E., and *Torii, K.U. (2018) Direct orchestration of cell-state switch and the single symmetric division to create stomata. Developmental Cell 45: 303-315

Uchida, N., Takahashi, K., Iwasaki, R., Zhang, H., Endo, T.A., Kimura, S., Yamada, R., Yoshimura, M., Tada, Y., Kinoshita, T., Itami, K., *Hagihara, S., and *Torii, K.U. (2018) Chemical hijacking of auxin signaling with an engineered auxin-TIR1 pair. Nature Chemical Biology 14: 299-305

Qi, X., and *Torii, K.U. (2018) Hormonal and environmental signals guiding stomatal development. BMC Biology 16: e21

Qi, X., Han, S.K., Dang, J.H., Garrick, J.T., Ito, M., Hofstetter, A.K., and *Torii, K.U. (2017) Autocrine regulation of stomatal differentiation potential by EPF1 and ERECTA-LIKE1 ligand-receptor signaling. eLife: e24102

Ziadi, A, Uchida, N., Kato, H., Hisamatsu, R., Sato, Y., Hagihara, S., *Itami, K., and *Torii, K.U. (2017) Synthetic small molecules that enhance the number of stomata: C-H Functionalization chemistry for plant biology. Chem Commun 53: 9632-9635

Hirakawa, Y., Shinohara, H., Matsubayashi, Y., *Torii, K.U., *Uchida, N. (2017) Cryptic bioactivity capacitated by synthetic hybrid peptide. Nature Commun 8: 14318

Tameshige, T., Okamoto, S., Lee, J.S., Aida, M., Tasaka, M., *Torii, K.U.  and *Uchida, N. (2016) A Secreted Peptide and its Receptors Specifying the Auxin Response Pattern during Leaf Margin Morphogenesis. Current Biology 26: 2478-2485

Lee, J.S., Hnilova, M., Maes, M., Lin, Y.C.L., Putarjunan, A., Han, S.K., Avila, J., and *Torii, K.U. (2015) Competitive binding of antagonistic peptides fine-tunes stomatal patterning Nature 522:439-443