Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 60, Issue 6, pp 929–946 | Cite as

KNOX Gene Function in Plant Stem Cell Niches

  • Simon Scofield
  • James A. H. Murray


Homeobox genes encode transcriptional regulators that control development in multicellular eukaryotes. In plants, post-embryonic shoot growth relies on the activity of indeterminate cell populations termed shoot meristems, within which members of the class-1 KNOX sub-family of homeobox genes are expressed. KNOX genes are differentially required for meristem development and function to inhibit cell expansion and differentiation associated with organogenesis. Mechanisms must therefore be employed to prevent KNOX gene expression in developing lateral organs such as leaves. This review focuses on the expression patterns, meristematic functions and regulation of KNOX genes, and how the activities of these genes are integrated within the framework of pathways that control plant development.

Key words

homeobox indeterminacy KNOX gene meristem stem cell 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of BiotechnologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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