Differentiation and Development - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

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Origin of Cell Polarity

Polarity is the condition in which opposite ends of a structure are different. In biology this can apply to a cell or a tissue or an organism. Polarity in a multicellular plant exists in the first cell, the zygote, with the consequence that the two sister cells produced by the first division have different developmental fates.

The best studied example is the origin of polarity in the zygote of Fucus, a brown alga of the marine intertidal zone. Eggs are released into the seawater and fertilized. Polarity is established initially by the site of sperm penetration, and in the absence of other disturbing factors the rhizoid emerges at this point. Numerous environmental gradients, however, including light, gravity, temperature, and pH, may act as final determinants of the polar axis. The zygote settles onto a substrate, and a rhizoidal outgrowth develops from one side...

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This section contains 1,179 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Differentiation and Development Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences
Differentiation and Development from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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