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Transcription. 2011 May;2(3):124-129.

Time-based patterning in development: The role of oscillating gene expression.

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Department of Biology and Center for Systems Biology; Duke University; Durham, NC USA.


Oscillating gene expression is a mechanism of patterning during development in both plants and animals. In vertebrates, oscillating gene expression establishes the musculoskeletal precursors (somites), while in plant roots it establishes the position of future organs (lateral roots). Both mechanisms constitute a specialized type of biological clock that converts temporal information into precise spatial patterns. Similarities, differences, and their functionality in organisms that evolved independently are discussed.

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