The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 49: 745 - 759 (2005)

Vol 49, Issue 5-6

Special Issue: Plant Development

Gene network analysis in plant development by genomic technologies

Published: 1 August 2005

Frank Wellmer and José Luis Riechmann*

Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA


The analysis of the gene regulatory networks underlying development is of central importance for a better understanding of the mechanisms that control the formation of the different cell-types, tissues or organs of an organism. The recent invention of genomic technologies has opened the possibility of studying these networks at a global level. In this paper, we summarize some of the recent advances that have been made in the understanding of plant development by the application of genomic technologies. We focus on a few specific processes, namely flower and root development and the control of the cell cycle, but we also highlight landmark studies in other areas that opened new avenues of experimentation or analysis. We describe the methods and the strategies that are currently used for the analysis of plant development by genomic technologies, as well as some of the problems and limitations that hamper their application. Since many genomic technologies and concepts were first developed and tested in organisms other than plants, we make reference to work in non-plant species and compare the current state of network analysis in plants to that in other multicellular organisms.


gene network, development, transcriptional regulation, gene expression, plant

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