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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Hake, Sarah
item Kerstetter, Randall

Submitted to: The Plant Cell
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Plants have a number of different types of shoot meristems. Each has its unique functional role, although certain functions are common.

Technical Abstract: The majority of the plant body is derived from the activities of groups of specialized cells, otherwise known as apical meristems, at the growing tips. In a typical flowering plant, the shoot apical meristem (SAM) gives rise to the bulk of the above ground portion of the plant, whereas root meristems give rise to the bulk of the subterranean plant body. Of course, ,not all plants are typical and numerous exceptions to these broad generalizations are found in nature. For example, aerial roots are a common feature and rhizomes or other subterranean shoot systems have SAMs that remain beneath the soil. Whether a plant is typical or not, the apical meristems of the plant represent the site at which organs are initiated and the pattern of the shoot and root system is established. In this review, we will focus on meristem formation in the vegetative shoots of flowering plants. Although the term meristem can be used in a broad sense to refer to any actively growing portion of the plant, we will limit the discussion to those portions of the plant that generate new lateral organs.

Last Modified: 08/17/2017
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