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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2006 Feb;9(1):48-54. Epub 2005 Dec 5.

Vascular development: the long and winding road.

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Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.


Vascular development involves the specification of distinct meristematic cells that proliferate and then differentiate into two separate multicellular tissues: xylem and phloem. Organ-specific patterning, which requires the co-ordination of vascular development with organogenesis, introduces another layer of complexity to the development of vascular tissues. Because vascular tissues develop internally, analyses of their development are technically challenging. Nevertheless, the combined use of genetic and genomic approaches has provided significant insight into the mechanisms of vascular development. Notable highlights include the identification of class III HD-ZIP genes as regulators of both (pro)cambial activity and vascular tissue specification, the characterization of vesicle-trafficking components (SCARFACE [SFC]/VAN3) as being necessary for axial vein pattern, the genetic characterization of xylogen, and the identification of transcription factors and hormone signals that regulate vascular cell identity.

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