Plant Science

Early Decision Program

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Science  11 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5553, pp. 235
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5553.235c

The initial cell division of the plant zygote produces an asymmetric outcome: the apical cell, from which most of the plant develops, and the larger basal cell that in part forms the suspensor, an embryonic tissue that anchors the developing embryo. Suspensor cells in the scarlet runner bean are particularly large and amenable to microdissection, and Weterings et al. have been able to identify two messenger RNAs that are specific to the suspensor cells and a third that is enriched in suspensor cells. These transcripts were not detected in the egg, but their asymmetric expression was apparent as early as the four-cell stage and may lead to clues about the molecular signals that establish the initial embryonic asymmetry. — PJH

Plant Cell13, 2409 (2001).

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