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Development. 2010 Oct;137(19):3153-65. doi: 10.1242/dev.030049.

KNOX genes: versatile regulators of plant development and diversity.

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  • 1Plant Sciences Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


Knotted1-like homeobox (KNOX) proteins are homeodomain transcription factors that maintain an important pluripotent cell population called the shoot apical meristem, which generates the entire above-ground body of vascular plants. KNOX proteins regulate target genes that control hormone homeostasis in the meristem and interact with another subclass of homeodomain proteins called the BELL family. Studies in novel genetic systems, both at the base of the land plant phylogeny and in flowering plants, have uncovered novel roles for KNOX proteins in sculpting plant form and its diversity. Here, we discuss how KNOX proteins influence plant growth and development in a versatile context-dependent manner.

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