In Arabidopsis, lateral root initiation occurs in a subset of pericycle cells at the xylem pole that will divide asymmetrically to give rise to a new lateral root organ. While lateral roots never develop at the phloem pole, it is unclear how the interaction with xylem and phloem poles determines the distinct pericycle identities with different competences. Nevertheless, pericycle cells at these poles are marked by differences in size, by ultrastructural features and by specific proteins and gene expression. Here, we provide transcriptional evidence that pericycle cells are intimately associated with their vascular tissue instead of being a separate concentric layer. This has implications for the identification of cell- and tissue-specific promoters that are necessary to drive and/or altergene expression locally, avoiding pleiotropic effects. We were able to identify a small set of genes that display specific expression in the phloem or xylem pole pericycle cells, and we were able to identify motifs that are likely to drive expression in either one of those tissues.