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Trends Genet. 2007 Oct;23(10):503-10. Epub 2007 Sep 10.

Packaging the male germline in plants.

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  • 1Department of Plant Sciences, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3RB, UK.


The development of plant lateral organs is interesting because, although many of the same genes seem to be involved in the early growth of primordia, completely different gene combinations are required for the complete development of organs such as leaves and stamens. Thus, the genes common to the development of most organs, which generally form and polarize the primordial 'envelope', must at some stage interact with those that 'install' the functional content of the organ--in the case of the stamen, the four microsporangia. Although distinct genetic pathways of organ initiation, polarity establishment and setting up the reproductive cell line can readily be recognized, they do not occur sequentially. Rather, they are activated early and run in parallel. There is evidence for continuing crosstalk between these pathways.

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