The HOBBIT gene is required for formation of the root meristem in the Arabidopsis embryo

Viola Willemsen, Harald Wolkenfelt, Geert De Vrieze, Peter Weisbeek, Ben Scheres*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


In Arabidopsis, the root meristem originates from the hypophyseal cell and from an adjoining cell tier that is distinct at the heart stage of embryogenesis. We have analysed mutations in the HOBBIT (HBT) gene that is essential for root meristem formation. hbt embryos display incorrect hypophyseal cell development from the quadrant stage onward. At the heart stage, the adjoining cell tier of hbt embryos develops abnormally, in that the activation of cell division and the formation of a lateral root cap layer are disturbed. Strong hbt mutants give rise to seedlings that lack an anatomically recognisable quiescent centre and differentiated columella root cap cells, the cell types derived from the wild-type hypophysis. Furthermore, they have no mitotically active root meristem and lack a differentiated lateral root cap. Secondary roots of hbt mutants and roots obtained from cultured cells of hbt mutants have similar defects. Therefore the HBT gene is required for root meristem formation in different developmental contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-531
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabidopsis
  • Embryogenesis
  • Meristem
  • Pattern formation
  • Plant development

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The HOBBIT gene is required for formation of the root meristem in the Arabidopsis embryo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this