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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2007 Dec;10(6):639-44. Epub 2007 Aug 9.

The dynamic plant stem cell niches.

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Cell and Developmental Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich NR4 7UH, United Kingdom.


Stem cells exist in specific locations called niches, where extracellular signals maintain stem cell division and prevent differentiation. In plants, the best characterised niches are within the shoot and root meristems. Networks of regulatory genes and intercellular signals maintain meristem structure in spite of constant cell displacement by division. Recent works have improved our understanding of how these networks function at the cellular and molecular levels, particularly in the control of the stem cell population in the shoot meristem. The meristem regulatory genes have been found to function partly through localised control of widely used signals such as cytokinin and auxin. The retinoblastoma protein has also emerged as a key regulator of cell differentiation in the meristems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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