Plant development revolves around axes

Trends Plant Sci. 2008 Feb;13(2):78-84. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2007.11.010. Epub 2008 Feb 11.


Arabidopsis thaliana has become a paradigm for dicot embryo development, despite its embryology being non-representative of dicots in general. The recent cloning of heterologous genes involved in embryonic development from maize and construction of robust phylogenies has shed light on the conservation of transcription factor function and now facilitates a comparison of maize and Arabidopsis embryogenesis orthology. In this review, we focus on a comparison of expression domains of WUSCHEL HOMEOBOX LIKE (WOX), SHOOTMERISTEMLESS (STM), DORNROESCHEN (DRN) and CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON (CUC) genes and their role in axialization in both species, showing that despite significantly divergent modes of embryogenesis, most notably in terms of axes and planes of symmetry, there is considerable conservation of function as well as notable differences between maize and Arabidopsis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / embryology
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Body Patterning / genetics*
  • Embryonic Development / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Seeds / embryology
  • Seeds / growth & development
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Zea mays / embryology
  • Zea mays / growth & development*
  • Zea mays / physiology


  • Transcription Factors