Plant Science

Competing inputs and shifting outcomes build shape

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Science  05 May 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6337, pp. 498-499
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6337.498-e

Asymmetric cell division creates leaf shapes by mechanical and chemical signals.

PHOTO: KAIS TOLMATS/GETTY IMAGES

Asymmetric cell division contributes to the development of shape in growing organisms. Bringmann and Bergmann distinguish mechanical from signaling effects as cell division planes are deployed in the developing Arabidopsis leaf. Computational growth models reveal that dividing cells are influenced by both. Early in leaf development, as the midvein is rapidly elongating, mechanical stress dominates. Later in leaf development, as the epidermis enlarges and growth of the midvein slows, local ligand-receptor signaling dominates. The balance of inputs shifts through development, and the final shape of the leaf emerges.

Curr. Biol. 27, 877 (2017).

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