, Volume 247, Issue 3–4, pp 145–161 | Cite as

The vascular cambium: molecular control of cellular structure

  • Juan Pablo Matte Risopatron
  • Yuqiang Sun
  • Brian Joseph Jones
Review Article


Indeterminate growth and the production of new organs in plants require a constant supply of new cells. The majority of these cells are produced in mitotic regions called meristems. For primary or tip growth of the roots and shoots, the meristems are located in the apices. These apical meristems have been shown to function as developmentally regulated and environmentally responsive stem cell niches. The principle requirements to maintain a functioning meristem in a dynamic system are a balance of cell division and differentiation and the regulation of the planes of cell division and expansion. Woody plants also have secondary indeterminate mitotic regions towards the exterior of roots, stems and branches that produce the cells for continued growth in girth. The chief secondary meristem is the vascular cambium (VC). As its name implies, cells produced in the VC contribute to the growth in girth via the production of secondary vascular elements. Although we know a considerable amount about the cellular and molecular basis of the apical meristems, our knowledge of the cellular basis and molecular functioning of the VC has been rudimentary. This is now changing as a growing body of research shows that the primary and secondary meristems share some common fundamental regulatory mechanisms. In this review, we outline recent research that is leading to a better understanding of the molecular forces that shape the cellular structure and function of the VC.


Vascular cambium Secondary growth Stem cell WOX CLE Class III HD-Zip KANADI 



This work was supported in part by a Ph.D. scholarship for Matte J.P. by Advanced Human Capital Program of the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) Bicentennial Becas-Chile Scholarship and the Swedish Research Council FORMAS centre of excellence program, FUNCFIBER. Thanks to Göran Sandberg for the opportunity and inspiration.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

709_2010_211_Fig6_ESM.gif (17 kb)
Supplemental Fig. 1

Sampling position for global gene expression profiling data in Table 1 (Sjödin et al. 2009). A1, B4, phloem; A2, phloem cambial transition; A3, B6, A4, B7, cambial zone; A5, cambial zone xylem transition zone; and B8, xylem (Schrader et al. 2004). (GIF 17 kb)

709_2010_211_MOESM1_ESM.eps (493 kb)
High resolution image file (EPS 493 kb)
709_2010_211_MOESM2_ESM.doc (1.9 mb)
Supplemental Table 1 Candidate genes for vascular cambium structure and function. The gene list was derived from various sources (Chaffey et al. 2002; Baima et al. 2001; Zhao et al. 2000, 2005; Nieminen et al. 2004; Groover 2005; Baucher et al. 2007; Demura and Fukuda 2007; Helariutta and Bhalerao 2003; Ariel et al. 2007; and others). Annotation data was obtained from NCBI. Populus trichocarpa (Pop. Ort.) and orthology data was obtained from KEGG (Kanehisa and Goto 2000), UniProt (NCBI-GeneID) and JGI. (GIF 17 kb) (DOC 1898 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Pablo Matte Risopatron
    • 1
  • Yuqiang Sun
    • 2
    • 3
  • Brian Joseph Jones
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.FAFNRUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Umeå Plant Science Centre, Department of Plant PhysiologyUmeå UniversitetUmeåSweden
  3. 3.Hangzhou Normal UniversityCollege of Life and Environmental UniversityHangzhouChina

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