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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2008;59:67-88.

Patterning and polarity in seed plant shoots.

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  • 11School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3800, Australia.


Leaves and stems are ultimately derived from the shoot apical meristem (SAM); leaves arise from the peripheral zone of the SAM and stem tissue is derived from both the peripheral and central zones of the SAM. Both the peripheral and central regions of the SAM are formed during embryogenesis when the basic body plan of the plant is established. Interplay between points of maximal concentration of auxin and specific patterns of transcription of both auxin-responsive transcription factors and other patterning genes subdivide the embryo along both the apical-basal and central-peripheral axes. Differential gene expression along these axes leads to the differentiation of tissues, lateral organs, meristems, and boundary regions, each with varying responsiveness to auxin. Subsequent shoot growth and development is a reiteration of basic patterning processes established during embryogenesis.

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