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 'Flamenco dancing' molecule could lead to better-protecting sunscreen
18.10.2019 | University of Warwick

nachricht Synthetic cells make long-distance calls
17.10.2019 | Rice University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

Im Focus: Novel Material for Shipbuilding

A new research project at the TH Mittelhessen focusses on the development of a novel light weight design concept for leisure boats and yachts. Professor Stephan Marzi from the THM Institute of Mechanics and Materials collaborates with Krake Catamarane, which is a shipyard located in Apolda, Thuringia.

The project is set up in an international cooperation with Professor Anders Biel from Karlstad University in Sweden and the Swedish company Lamera from...

Im Focus: Controlling superconducting regions within an exotic metal

Superconductivity has fascinated scientists for many years since it offers the potential to revolutionize current technologies. Materials only become superconductors - meaning that electrons can travel in them with no resistance - at very low temperatures. These days, this unique zero resistance superconductivity is commonly found in a number of technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Future technologies, however, will harness the total synchrony of electronic behavior in superconductors - a property called the phase. There is currently a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Energy Flow in the Nano Range

18.10.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

MR-compatible Ultrasound System for the Therapeutic Application of Ultrasound

18.10.2019 | Medical Engineering

Double layer of graphene helps to control spin currents

18.10.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>