Balance between cell division and differentiation during plant development
Published: 1 August 2005
Elena Ramirez-Parra, Bénédicte Desvoyes and Crisanto Gutierrez*
Centro de Biologia Molecular Severo Ochoa, CSIC, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
The processes which make possible that a cell gives rise to two daughter cells define the cell division cycle. In individual cells, this is strictly controlled both in time and space. In multicellular organisms extra layers of regulation impinge on the balance between cell proliferation and cell differentiation within particular ontogenic programs. In contrast to animals, organogenesis in plants is a post-embryonic process that requires developmentally programmed reversion of sets of cells from different differentiated states to a pluripotent state followed by regulated proliferation and progression through distinct differentiation patterns. This implies a fine coupling of cell division control, cell cycle arrest and reactivation, endoreplication and differentiation. The emerging view is that cell cycle regulators, in addition to controlling cell division, also function as targets for maintaining cell homeostasis during development. The mechanisms and cross talk among different cell cycle regulatory pathways are discussed here in the context of a developing plant.