Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Single gene controls leaf form

29.07.2003


A single gene, called PHANTASTICA (PHAN), controls whether a plant makes feathery leaves like a tomato or umbrella-like leaves like Oxalis. The same mechanism is shared by a wide group of flowering plants.



"It’s a very surprising finding, that modifying one gene in the tomato alters the leaf from one form to another," said Neelima Sinha, a professor of plant biology at UC Davis who is senior author on the paper.

Plant leaves fall into two main groups: simple, single-blade leaves and compound leaves with multiple leaflets. Compound leaves have either a series of alternate leaflets on each side of a stem, like a tomato, or leaflets arrayed in a circle around a point at the end of the stalk.


Sinha and graduate student Minsung Kim from UC Davis, with Sheila McCormick from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Gene Expression Center in Albany, Calif., and Marja Timmermans from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, created tomato plants genetically manipulated so that PHAN was turned down or turned off.

Low-PHAN tomato plants made palmate, umbrella-like leaves or needles with no leaflets at all. In plants with normal leaves, PHAN was switched on throughout the upper surface of the leaf. In plants with palmate leaves, PHAN expression was reduced to the tip of the leaf. Plants with needle-shaped leaves showed no PHAN expression at all.

The results showed that when PHAN is switched on in part of the leaf, it creates an area where leaflets can form. The size and shape of this domain determines the shape of the leaf.

Sinha and colleagues found similar patterns of PHAN gene expression and leaf shape in live specimens of other plants from the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory and over 500 dried plants from the UC Davis Herbarium, showing that the same mechanism is used to control leaf shape even in distantly related flowering plants. That suggests that there may be a limited number of ways to change the shape of a leaf.

The conservatory and the herbarium were "incredibly valuable" for this kind of work, Sinha said. "We can look at thousands of specimens in the herbarium. It’s an amazing resource."

Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdavis.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>