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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Aug 15;89(16):7360-4.

Spatial pattern of cdc2 expression in relation to meristem activity and cell proliferation during plant development.

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Plant Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA 92037.


The p34 protein kinase encoded by the cdc2 gene is a key component of the eukaryotic cell cycle required for the G1- to S-phase transition and entry into mitosis. To study the regulation of plant meristem activity and cell proliferation, we have examined the tissue-specific accumulation of cdc2 transcripts in Arabidopsis thaliana and the related crucifer radish (Raphanus sativus) by in situ hybridization using A. thaliana cdc2 cDNA sequences as a probe. cdc2 transcripts accumulated in leaf primordia and within the vegetative shoot apical meristem. During flower development, high levels of expression were observed in meristems, in the basal regions of developing organs, in the developing vasculature, and associated with rib meristems elaborated late in the development of some floral organs. In root tips, cdc2 transcripts accumulated in the meristematic region and adjacent daughter cells but were not detected in the quiescent center. There was strong hybridization throughout the pericycle, and a further localized accumulation of cdc2 transcripts was observed in the initial stages of the activation of a new meristem at sites of lateral root development. We conclude that cdc2 expression is a critical factor in the regulation of meristem activity and establishment of proliferative competence.

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