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Dev Cell. 2013 Feb 11;24(3):215-25. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.01.014.

A conversation across generations: soma-germ cell crosstalk in plants.

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  • 1Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, 211 Koshland Hall, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


Plants undergo alternation of generation in which reproductive cells develop in the plant body ("sporophytic generation") and then differentiate into a multicellular gamete-forming "gametophytic generation." Different populations of helper cells assist in this transgenerational journey, with somatic tissues supporting early development and single nurse cells supporting gametogenesis. New data reveal a two-way relationship between early reproductive cells and their helpers involving complex epigenetic and signaling networks determining cell number and fate. Later, the egg cell plays a central role in specifying accessory cells, whereas in both gametophytes, companion cells contribute non-cell-autonomously to the epigenetic landscape of the gamete genomes.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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