Roles for polarity and nuclear determinants in specifying daughter cell fates after an asymmetric cell division in the maize leaf

Curr Biol. 2000 Oct 5;10(19):1229-32. doi: 10.1016/s0960-9822(00)00730-2.


Asymmetric cell divisions occur repeatedly during plant development, but the mechanisms by which daughter cells are directed to adopt different fates are not well understood [1,2]. Previous studies have demonstrated roles for positional information in specification of daughter cell fates following asymmetric divisions in the embryo [3] and root [4]. Unequally inherited cytoplasmic determinants have also been proposed to specify daughter cell fates after some asymmetric cell divisions in plants [1,2,5], but direct evidence is lacking. Here we investigate the requirements for specification of stomatal subsidiary cell fate in the maize leaf by analyzing four mutants disrupting the asymmetric divisions of subsidiary mother cells (SMCs). We show that subsidiary cell fate does not depend on proper localization of the new cell wall during the SMC division, and is not specified by positional information acting on daughter cells after completion of the division. Instead, our data suggest that specification of subsidiary cell fate depends on polarization of SMCs and on inheritance of the appropriate daughter nucleus. We thus provide evidence of a role for unequal inheritance of an intracellular determinant in specification of cell fate after an asymmetric plant cell division.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division*
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Polarity
  • Mutation
  • Plant Leaves / cytology*
  • Zea mays / cytology*
  • Zea mays / genetics