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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 1998 Feb;1(1):73-8.

The evolutionary basis of leaf senescence: method to the madness?

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Botany Department, 430 Lincoln Drive, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 50706, USA.


Recent studies on the differential expression of genes associated with leaf senescence support the long-standing interpretation of plant senescence as an organized, genetically controlled process. Sequence identities of genes that are differentially expressed in senescing leaves indicate roles in the salvage of nutrients. By considering this salvage function as the selected trait and the degeneration and death of the tissue a pleiotropic consequence of nutrient redistribution, the process of leaf senescence can be reconciled with evolutionary theories on the origins of senescence in animals.

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