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Plant J. 2003 Oct;36(1):45-54.

The SCARECROW gene's role in asymmetric cell divisions in rice plants.

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BioScience Center, Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.


Asymmetric cell division is one of the most important mechanisms in the diversification of cell function and fate. In Arabidopsis, SCARECROW (SCR) is essential for the asymmetric division of the cortex/endodermis progenitor cell in the root. To learn more about how SCR is involved in asymmetric division, we analyzed the rice SCR (OsSCR) expression. In the root tip, OsSCR expression was observed in the endodermal cell layer and downregulated in the daughter cortex cell after asymmetric division, just as with Arabidopsis SCR. In leaf primordia, expression of OsSCR was observed in stomatal and ligule formation. In stomatal development, OsSCR was specifically expressed in the stomatal cell files before formation of guard mother cells (GMCs), and then, its expression was localized in GMCs, when the first asymmetric division occurred to generate the GMCs. Before the second asymmetric division of subsidiary mother cells (SMCs), localized OsSCR expression was observed in SMCs in the area close to the GMCs. Before these asymmetric divisions, the localization of OsSCR mRNA in GMC-forming cells and SMCs was observed in the area of the daughter GMC and subsidiary cells. OsSCR expression was also observed in the initiation area of ligule formation, and its downregulation occurred in the inner L2 cells generated by asymmetric division. Based on these observations, we proposed that OsSCR is involved not only in the asymmetric division of the cortex/endodermis progenitor cell but also during stomata and ligule formation by establishing the polarization of cytoplasm.

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