Combinations of WOX activities regulate tissue proliferation during Arabidopsis embryonic development

Dev Biol. 2007 Sep 15;309(2):306-16. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2007.07.019. Epub 2007 Jul 25.


Tissue growth as the result of cell division is an essential part of embryonic development. Previous studies have shown that STIMPY (STIP)/WOX9, a homeodomain transcription factor of the Arabidopsis thaliana WOX family, is required for maintaining cell division and preventing premature differentiation in emerging seedlings. Here we present evidence that STIP performs similar functions during embryogenesis. Complete loss of STIP activity results in early embryonic arrest, most likely due to a failure in cell division. STIMPY-LIKE (STPL)/WOX8, a close homolog of STIP in Arabidopsis, also positively regulates early embryonic growth and can replace STIP function when expressed under the STIP promoter. STPL shares redundant functions with a more distantly related member of the WOX family, WOX2, in regulating embryonic apical patterning. These findings show that combinatorial action of WOX transcription factors is essential for Arabidopsis embryonic development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / embryology
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • STIMPY protein, Arabidopsis
  • Transcription Factors
  • WOX2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • WOX8 protein, Arabidopsis