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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2001 Dec;4(6):478-87.

Of weeds and men: what genomes teach us about plant cell biology.

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  • 1Genetics and Microbiology Institute, Ludwig Maximillian University of Münich, Maria Ward Str. 1a, 80638, Münich, Germany.


It has generally been assumed that fundamental cellular processes are conserved at the molecular level. Genome comparisons, however, suggest that the molecular mechanisms underlying programmed cell death, defense, adaptation and development may differ considerably between the plant and animal kingdoms. Phylogenetic analyses have revealed a great deal of novelty in the plant genes that are implicated in conserved processes such as transcription, cytoskeletal dynamics and vesicle trafficking. The Arabidopsis genome highlights the highly dynamic and regulated nature of the plant cell, which is fine-tuned to light, water, nutrient availability, temperature, touch and wind.

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