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Development. 2002 Feb;129(4):957-64.

Manipulation of leaf shape by modulation of cell division.

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Institute of Plant Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Universitätstrasse 2, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.


The role of cell division as a causal element in plant morphogenesis is debatable, with accumulating evidence supporting the action of cell division-independent mechanisms. To directly test the morphogenic function of cell division, we have utilised a microinduction technique to locally and transiently manipulate the expression in transgenic plants of two genes encoding putative effectors of the cell cycle, a tobacco A-type cyclin and a yeast cdc25. The results show that local expression of these genes leads to modulation of cell division patterns. Moreover, whereas altered cell division in the apical meristem had no influence on organogenesis, local induction of cell proliferation on the flanks of young leaf primordia led to a dramatic change in lamina development and, thus, leaf shape. These data indicate that the role of cell division in plant morphogenesis is context dependent and identify cell division in the leaf primordium as a potential target for factors regulating leaf shape.

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