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Protoplasma. 2001;218(3-4):203-13.

Cell division patterns of the protoderm and root cap in the "closed" root apical meristem of Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Section of Plant Biology, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


The peripheral root cap and protoderm in Arabidopsis thaliana are organized into modular packets of cells derived from formative T-divisions of the root cap/protoderm (RCP) initials and subsequent proliferative divisions of their daughter cells. Each module consists of protoderm and peripheral root cap packets derived from the same periclinal T-division event of an RCP initial. Anatomical analyses are used to interpret the history of extensively coordinated cell divisions producing this modular construction. Within a given layer of root cap, the columella and RCP initials divided in a centrifugal sequence from the innermost columella initials toward the RCP initials. All RCP initials in the lineages around the circumference of the root divided nearly simultaneously in "waves" to form one module prior to the next wave of initial divisions forming a younger module. The peripheral root cap and protoderm packets within each module completed four rounds of proliferative divisions in the axial plane to produce, on average, 16 cells per packet in the basalmost modules in axial view. Peripheral root cap and protoderm cells predominantly in the T-type (trichoblast) lineages also underwent radial divisions as they were displaced basipetally. The regularity in the cellular pattern within the modules suggests a timing mechanism controlling highly coordinated cell division in the initials and their daughter cells.

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