Plants react to wounding through the activation of both defense and repair pathways, but how these two responses are coordinated is unclear. Here, we put forward the hypothesis that diverse members of the subfamily X of the plant-specific ethylene response factor (ERF) transcription factors coordinate stress signaling with the activation of wound repair mechanisms. Moreover, we highlight the observation that tissue repair is strongly boosted through the formation of a heterodimeric protein complex that comprises ERF and transcription factors of the GRAS domain type. This interaction turns ERFs into highly potent and stress-responsive activators of cell proliferation. The potency to induce stem cell identity suggests that these heterodimeric transcription factor complexes could become valuable tools to increase crop regeneration and transformation efficiency.