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Methods Mol Biol. 2010;655:105-29. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60761-765-5_8.

Analyzing shoot apical meristem development.

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Plant Gene Expression Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture-ARS/UC Berkeley & Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.


The shoot apical meristem of Arabidopsis thaliana contains a reservoir of pluripotent stem cells that functions as a continuous source of new cells for organ formation during development. The SAM forms during embryogenesis, when it becomes stratified into specific cell layers and zones that can be delineated based on morphological and molecular criteria. The primary SAM produces all the aerial structures of the adult plant, and alterations in SAM organization or function can have profound effects on vegetative and reproductive plant morphology. Such SAM-specific defects can be identified, evaluated, and quantified using specialized microscopic and histological techniques.

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