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Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2005;21:485-509.

Regulation of root apical meristem development.

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Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


The establishment of the Angiosperm root apical meristem is dependent on the specification of a stem cell niche and the subsequent development of the quiescent center at the presumptive root pole. Distribution of auxin and the establishment of auxin maxima are early formative steps in niche specification that depend on the expression and distribution of auxin carriers. Auxin specifies stem cell niche formation by directly and indirectly affecting gene activities. Part of the indirect regulation by auxin may involve changes in redox, favoring local, oxidized microenvironments. Formation of a QC is required for root meristem development and elaboration. Many signals likely pass between the QC and the adjacent root meristem tissues. Disappearance of the QC is associated with roots becoming determinate. Given the many auxin feedback loops, we hypothesize that roots evolved as part of an auxin homeostasis mechanism.

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