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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2007 Feb;10(1):70-82. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

Functional aspects of cell patterning in aerial epidermis.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney NR4 7UH, UK.


Plants have evolved epidermal cells that have specialized functions as adaptations to life on land. Many of the functions of these specialized cells are dependent, to a significant extent, on their arrangement within the aerial epidermis. Considerable progress has been made over the past two years in understanding the patterning mechanisms of trichomes and stomata in Arabidopsis leaves at the molecular level. How universal are these patterning programmes, and how are they adjusted to meet the changing functions of specialized epidermal cells in different plant organs? In this review, we compare the patterning of stomata and trichomes in different plant species, describe environmental and developmental factors that alter cell patterning, and discuss how changes in patterning might relate to cell function. Patterning is an important aspect to the functioning of aerial epidermal cells, and a greater understanding of the processes that are involved will significantly enhance our understanding of how cellular activities are integrated in multicellular plants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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