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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2014 May;15(5):301-12. doi: 10.1038/nrm3790.

Plant and animal stem cells: similar yet different.

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Plant Developmental Biology, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie, Laboratory of Functional Genomics and Proteomics of Model Systems, Università di Roma La Sapienza, Via dei Sardi 70, 00185 Rome, Italy.


The astonishingly long lives of plants and their regeneration capacity depend on the activity of plant stem cells. As in animals, stem cells reside in stem cell niches, which produce signals that regulate the balance between self-renewal and the generation of daughter cells that differentiate into new tissues. Plant stem cell niches are located within the meristems, which are organized structures that are responsible for most post-embryonic development. The continuous organ production that is characteristic of plant growth requires a robust regulatory network to keep the balance between pluripotent stem cells and differentiating progeny. Components of this network have now been elucidated and provide a unique opportunity for comparing strategies that were developed in the animal and plant kingdoms, which underlie the logic of stem cell behaviour.

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