Vascular development in Arabidopsis
Vascular tissues, xylem and phloem, form a continuous network throughout the plant body for transport of water, minerals, and food. Characterization of Arabidopsis mutants defective in various aspects of vascular formation has demonstrated that Arabidopsis is an ideal system for investigating the molecular mechanisms controlling vascular development. The processes affected in these mutants include initiation or division of procambium or vascular cambium, formation of continuous vascular cell files, differentiation of procambium or vascular cambium into vascular tissues, cell elongation, patterned secondary wall thickening, and biosynthesis of secondary walls. Identification of the genes affected by some of these mutations has revealed essential roles in vascular development for a cytokinin receptor and several factors mediating auxin transport or signaling. Mutational studies have also identified a number of Arabidopsis mutants defective in leaf venation pattern or vascular tissue organization in stems. Genetic evidence suggests that the vascular tissue organization is regulated by the same positional information that determines organ polarity. © 2002, Elsevier Science (USA).