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Plant Cell. 2017 Mar;29(3):474-490. doi: 10.1105/tpc.16.00878. Epub 2017 Mar 2.

The Maize MID-COMPLEMENTING ACTIVITY Homolog CELL NUMBER REGULATOR13/NARROW ODD DWARF Coordinates Organ Growth and Tissue Patterning.

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Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720.
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143.
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720
Plant Gene Expression Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Albany, California 94710.


Organogenesis occurs through cell division, expansion, and differentiation. How these cellular processes are coordinated remains elusive. The maize (Zea mays) leaf provides a robust system to study cellular differentiation due to its distinct tissues and cell types. The narrow odd dwarf (nod) mutant displays defects at both the cellular and tissue level that increase in severity throughout growth. nod mutant leaves have reduced size due to fewer and smaller cells compared with the wild type. The juvenile-to-adult transition is delayed, and proximal distal-patterning is abnormal in this mutant. Differentiation of specialized cells such as those forming stomata and trichomes is incomplete. Analysis of nod-1 sectors suggests that NOD plays a cell-autonomous function in the leaf. We cloned nod positionally and found that it encodes CELL NUMBER REGULATOR13 (CNR13), the maize MID-COMPLEMENTING ACTIVITY homolog. CNR13/NOD is localized to the membrane and is enriched in dividing tissues. Transcriptome analysis of nod mutants revealed overrepresentation of cell wall, hormone metabolism, and defense gene categories. We propose that NOD coordinates cell activity in response to intrinsic and extrinsic cues.

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