J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2011, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (6): 446-454.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2011.01045.x

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Regulation of Meristem Size by Cytokinin Signaling

Anna Skylar and Xuelin Wu*   

  1. Molecular and Computational Biology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Received:2011-03-25 Accepted:2011-04-27 Published:2011-05-09
  • About author:*Corresponding author. Tel: 213-740-2165; Fax: 213-740-8631; E-mail: xuelinwu@usc.edu


The plant meristems possess unique features that involve maintaining the stem cell populations while providing cells for continued development. Although both the primary shoot apical meristem (SAM) and the root apical meristem (RAM) are specified during embryogenesis, post-embryonic tissue proliferation is required for their full establishment and maintenance throughout a plants' life. The phytohormone cytokinin (CK) interacts with other systemic signals and is a key regulator of meristem size and functions. The SAM and the RAM respond to CK stimulations in different manners: CK promotes tissue proliferation in the SAM through pathways dominated by homeobox transcription factors, including the class I KNOX genes, STIP, and WUS; and curiously, it favors proliferation at low levels and differentiation at a slightly higher concentration in the RAM instead. Here we review the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying CK actions in regulating meristematic tissue proliferation.

Skylar A, Wu X (2011) Regulation of meristem size by cytokinin signaling. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(6), 446–454.

Key words: cytokinin signaling, meristem, tissue proliferation

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