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J Plant Res. 2013 Mar;126(2):243-50. doi: 10.1007/s10265-012-0517-3. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Acquisition of embryogenic competency does not require cell division in carrot somatic cell.

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  • 1Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, Gene Research Center, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Ten-noudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8752, Japan.


Totipotency is the ability of a cell to regenerate the entire organism, even after previous differentiation as a specific cell. When totipotency is coupled with active cell division, it was presumed that cell division is essential for this expression. Here, using the stress-induction system of somatic embryos in carrots, we show that cell division is not essential for the expression of totipotency in somatic/embryonic conversion. Morphological and histochemical analyses showed that the cell did not divide during embryo induction. Inhibitors of cell division did not affect the rate of somatic embryo formation. Our results indicate that the newly acquired trait of differentiation appears without cell division, but does not arise with cell division as a newborn cell.

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