J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2010, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (4): 393-399.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.00941.x

Special Issue: Sexual Reproductions

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Novel Insights from Live-imaging in Shoot Meristem Development

Paja Sijacic1 and Zhongchi Liu1*   

  1. 1Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
  • Received:2010-01-19 Accepted:2010-01-31 Published:2010-04-01
  • About author:*Author for correspondence Tel: +1 301 405 1586; Fax: +1 301 314 1248; E-mail: zliu@umd.edu


Microscopic imaging of fluorescent reporters for key meristem regulators in live tissues is emerging as a powerful technique, enabling researchers to observe dynamic spatial and temporal distribution of hormonal and developmental regulators in living cells. Aided by time-lapse microphotography, new types of imaging acquisition and analysis software, and computational modeling, we are gaining significant insights into shoot apical meristem (SAM) behavior and function. This review is focused on summarizing recent advances in the understanding of SAM organization, development, and behavior derived from live-imaging techniques. This includes the revelation of mechanical forces in microtubule-controlled anisotropic growth, the role of the CLV-WUS network in the specification of peripheral zone and central zone cells, the multiple feedback loops involving cytokinin in controlling WUS expression, auxin dynamics in determining the position of new primordia, and, finally, sequence of regulatory events leading to de novo assembly of shoots from callus in culture. Future studies toward formulating "digital SAM" that incorporates multi-dimensional data ranging from images of SAM morphogenesis to a genome-scale expression map of SAM will greatly enhance our ability to understand, predict, and manipulate SAM, containing the stem cells that give rise to all above ground parts of a plant.

Sijacic P, Liu Z (2010) Novel insights from live-imaging in shoot meristem development. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 52(4), 393–399.

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