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New Phytol. 2013 Jan;197(2):490-502. doi: 10.1111/nph.12036. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

Brassinosteroid production and signaling differentially control cell division and expansion in the leaf.

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Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium.


Brassinosteroid (BR) hormones control plant growth through acting on both cell expansion and division. Here, we examined the role of BRs in leaf growth using the Arabidopsis BR-deficient mutant constitutive photomorphogenesis and dwarfism (cpd). We show that the reduced size of cpd leaf blades is a result of a decrease in cell size and number, as well as in venation length and complexity. Kinematic growth analysis and tissue-specific marker gene expression revealed that the leaf phenotype of cpd is associated with a prolonged cell division phase and delayed differentiation. cpd-leaf-rescue experiments and leaf growth analysis of BR biosynthesis and signaling gain-of-function mutants showed that BR production and BR receptor-dependent signaling differentially control the balance between cell division and expansion in the leaf. Investigation of cell cycle markers in leaves of cpd revealed the accumulation of mitotic proteins independent of transcription. This correlated with an increase in cyclin-dependent kinase activity, suggesting a role for BRs in control of mitosis.

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