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Trends Plant Sci. 2011 Nov;16(11):607-13. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2011.08.005. Epub 2011 Sep 14.

Founder cell specification.

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Institute of Developmental Biology, Cologne Biocenter, Cologne University, Zuelpicher Strasse 47b, D-50674 Cologne, Germany.


Lateral organs arise from individual or groups of cells either on the flanks of meristems or within defined cellular positional contexts. The first event in organogenesis is founder cell specification. Auxin is one necessary signal in different organ specification contexts, but it is difficult to distinguish between correlative and causal signals and evidence is emerging that other signals exist and that the interplay between these signals is important for organ initiation. This review analyses the progress in understanding which signals contribute to founder cell specification and outlines the emerging complexities in the perception of positional information that are context-dependent and reliant on the establishment and coordination of different types of competencies.

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