We studied the early events of de novo formation of adventitious shoot meristems in stem segments of Brassica oleracea. A regeneration system was used that is efficient, rapid, highly responsive to cytokinins and does not involve callus formation, thus allowing studies on a direct developmental switch of cells in the stem segment to form adventitious shoot meristem cells. Shoot meristem cells and dividing cells were marked from very early stages using in situ hybridization studies with Brostm, a Brassica homologue of the Arabidopsis SHOOTMERISTEMLESS (STM) gene, and a cyclin box-derived probe, Brocyc, respectively. We show that the process of developmental switching starts before any cell division occurs in the stem explants. This switching occurs synchronously both longitudinally and transversely in the explant, in groups of 5–7 phloem parenchyma cells subtending vascular bundles in the explant. Brostm is induced specifically in response to a cytokinin, benzyladenine, within 4 h of treatment and the transcripts persist during cell proliferation leading to shoot differentiation. We also show that during adventitious shoot formation, cells expressing Brostm are distinct from those expressing Brocyc. Lastly, our data suggest that, although developmental switching is initiated synchronously within 4 h of treatment, it requires 8 h of treatment for the establishment of organogenic determinance. The latter process is aynchronous, implying that additional factors formed later than Brostm are required to achieve maximal levels of determined cell populations to form adventitious shoots in vitro.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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