Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Monocotyledonous plants graft at the embryonic root-shoot interface

Reeves, Gregory; Tripathi, Anoop; Singh, Pallavi; Jones, Maximillian R. W.; Nanda, Amrit K.; Musseau, Constance; Craze, Melanie; Bowden, Sarah; Walker, Joseph F.; Bentley, Alison R.; Melnyk, Charles W.; Hibberd, Julian M.


Grafting is possible in both animals and plants. Although in animals the process requires surgery and is often associated with rejection of non-self, in plants grafting is widespread, and has been used since antiquity for crop improvement(1). However, in the monocotyledons, which represent the second largest group of terrestrial plants and include many staple crops, the absence of vascular cambium is thought to preclude grafting(2). Here we show that the embryonic hypocotyl allows intra- and inter-specific grafting in all three monocotyledon groups: the commelinids, lilioids and alismatids. We show functional graft unions through histology, application of exogenous fluorescent dyes, complementation assays for movement of endogenous hormones, and growth of plants to maturity. Expression profiling identifies genes that unify the molecular response associated with grafting in monocotyledons and dicotyledons, but also gene families that have not previously been associated with tissue union. Fusion of susceptible wheat scions to oat rootstocks confers resistance to the soil-borne pathogen Gaeumannomyces graminis. Collectively, these data overturn the consensus that monocotyledons cannot form graft unions, and identify the hypocotyl (mesocotyl in grasses) as a meristematic tissue that allows this process. We conclude that graft compatibility is a shared ability among seed-bearing plants.

Published in

2022, Volume: 602, pages: 280-286

      SLU Authors

      • Associated SLU-program

        SLU Plant Protection Network

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Developmental Biology

        Publication identifier


        Permanent link to this page (URI)