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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2008 Feb;11(1):70-4. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Conserved and diverse mechanisms in root development.

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University of Tuebingen, Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP), Department of General Genetics, Auf der Morgenstelle 28, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany.


The molecular basis of root formation and growth is being analyzed in more and more detail in the dicot model organism Arabidopsis. However, considerable progress has also been made in the molecular and genetic dissection of root system development in the monocot species rice and maize. This review will highlight some recent molecular data that allow for the comparison of cereal and Arabidopsis root development. Members of the COBRA, GRAS, and LOB domain gene families and a gene encoding a subunit of the exocyst complex are associated with root development. Analyses of these genes revealed some common and distinct molecular principles and functions in cereal versus Arabidopsis root formation.

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