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Dev Biol. 1999 Dec 15;216(2):646-58.

Clonal analysis of epidermal patterning during maize leaf development.

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Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27599, USA.


In plants, specialized epidermal cells are arranged in semiordered patterns. In grasses such as maize, stomata and other specialized cell types differentiate in linear patterns within the leaf epidermis. A variety of mechanisms have been proposed to direct patterns of epidermal cell differentiation. One class of models proposes that patterns of cellular differentiation depend on the lineage relationships among epidermal cells. Another class of models proposes that epidermal patterning depends on positional information rather than lineage relationships. In the dicot epidermis, cell lineage is an important factor in the patterning of stomata, but not trichomes. In this study, the role of cell lineage in the linear patterning of stomata and bulliform cells in the maize leaf epidermis is investigated. Clones of epidermal cells in juvenile leaves were marked by excision of dSpm from gl15-m and in adult leaves by excision of Ds2 from bz2-m. These clones were analyzed in relation to patterns of stomata and bulliform cells, testing specific predictions of clonal origin hypotheses for the patterning of these cell types. We found that the great majority of clones analyzed failed to satisfy these predictions. Our results clearly show that lineage does not account for the linear patterning of stomata and bulliform cells, implying that positional information must direct the differentiation patterns of these cell types in maize.

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