Genetic Control of Surface Curvature

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Science  28 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5611, pp. 1404-1407
DOI: 10.1126/science.1079354

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Although curvature of biological surfaces has been considered from mathematical and biophysical perspectives, its molecular and developmental basis is unclear. We have studied the cinmutant of Antirrhinum, which has crinkly rather than flat leaves. Leaves of cin display excess growth in marginal regions, resulting in a gradual introduction of negative curvature during development. This reflects a change in the shape and the progression of a cell-cycle arrest front moving from the leaf tip toward the base. CIN encodes a TCP protein and is expressed downstream of the arrest front. We propose that CIN promotes zero curvature (flatness) by making cells more sensitive to an arrest signal, particularly in marginal regions.

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