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Development. 2000 Feb;127(3):595-603.

Molecular analysis of SCARECROW function reveals a radial patterning mechanism common to root and shoot.

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  • 1Department of Biology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA.


Mutation of the SCARECROW (SCR) gene results in a radial pattern defect, loss of a ground tissue layer, in the root. Analysis of the shoot phenotype of scr mutants revealed that both hypocotyl and shoot inflorescence also have a radial pattern defect, loss of a normal starch sheath layer, and consequently are unable to sense gravity in the shoot. Analogous to its expression in the endodermis of the root, SCR is expressed in the starch sheath of the hypocotyl and inflorescence stem. The SCR expression pattern in leaf bundle sheath cells and root quiescent center cells led to the identification of additional phenotypic defects in these tissues. SCR expression in a pin-formed mutant background suggested the possible origins of the starch sheath in the shoot inflorescence. Analysis of SCR expression and the mutant phenotype from the earliest stages of embryogenesis revealed a tight correlation between defective cell divisions and SCR expression in cells that contribute to ground tissue radial patterning in both embryonic root and shoot. Our data provides evidence that the same molecular mechanism regulates the radial patterning of ground tissue in both root and shoot during embryogenesis as well as postembryonically.

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