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Nat Plants. 2017 Sep;3(9):724-733. doi: 10.1038/s41477-017-0008-6. Epub 2017 Sep 4.

Mechanical regulation of organ asymmetry in leaves.

Qi J1, Wu B1,2, Feng S3, Lü S2,3, Guan C1, Zhang X2,3, Qiu D4, Hu Y5, Zhou Y1,2, Li C1,2, Long M6,7, Jiao Y8,9.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and National Center for Plant Gene Research, 100101, Beijing, China.
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100049, Beijing, China.
3
Key Laboratory of Microgravity (National Microgravity Laboratory), Center of Biomechanics and Bioengineering, and Beijing Key Laboratory of Engineered Construction and Mechanobiology, Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100190, Beijing, China.
4
Bruker Nano Surfaces Business, 100081, Beijing, China.
5
College of Life Sciences, Peking University, 100871, Beijing, China.
6
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100049, Beijing, China. mlong@imech.ac.cn.
7
Key Laboratory of Microgravity (National Microgravity Laboratory), Center of Biomechanics and Bioengineering, and Beijing Key Laboratory of Engineered Construction and Mechanobiology, Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100190, Beijing, China. mlong@imech.ac.cn.
8
State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and National Center for Plant Gene Research, 100101, Beijing, China. yljiao@genetics.ac.cn.
9
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100049, Beijing, China. yljiao@genetics.ac.cn.

Abstract

How appendages, such as plant leaves or animal limbs, develop asymmetric shapes remains a fundamental question in biology. Although ongoing research has revealed the genetic regulation of organ pattern formation, how gene activity ultimately directs organ shape remains unclear. Here, we show that leaf dorsoventral (adaxial-abaxial) polarity signals lead to mechanical heterogeneity of the cell wall, related to the methyl-esterification of cell-wall pectins in tomato and Arabidopsis. Numerical simulations predicate that mechanical heterogeneity is sufficient to produce the asymmetry seen in planar leaves. Experimental tests that alter pectin methyl-esterification, and therefore cell wall mechanical properties, support this model and lead to polar changes in gene expression, suggesting the existence of a feedback mechanism for mechanical signals in morphogenesis. Thus, mechanical heterogeneity within tissue may underlie organ shape asymmetry.

PMID:
29150691
DOI:
10.1038/s41477-017-0008-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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