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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Apr 29;100(9):5561-6. Epub 2003 Apr 17.

Cell division pattern influences gene expression in the shoot apical meristem.

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  • 1Institute of Plant Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Universitätsstrasse 2, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland.


The shoot apical meristem of angiosperms shows a highly conserved cellular architecture in which a change of cell division orientation correlates with early events of leaf initiation. However, the causal role of this altered cellular parameter in leaf formation is debatable. We have used the dynamin-like protein phragmoplastin as a tool to modify the pattern of cell division within the apical meristem. Taking a microinduction approach, we show that local alteration in cell division orientation is not sufficient to induce morphogenesis in the meristem. Surprisingly, an altered cell division pattern did lead to an altered pattern of expression of genes implicated in aspects of leaf formation. Our data identify inducible expression of phragmoplastin as a tool to manipulate cell division pattern. Furthermore, they indicate that a mechanism exists by which cells in the meristem can respond at the level of gene expression to altered parameters of cell division. These data are discussed in the context of a model linking leaf morphogenesis and differentiation.

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