UNIVERSITY OF WOLVERHAMPTON

SCHOOL OF APPLIED SCIENCES

The Biology of Leaf Development

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Axis development in the leaf
 leaves are lateral organs.  leaves display consistent orientation and polarity relative to the shoot i.e. axial information in the leaf does not arise de novo but depends on existing axial information.  Angiosperm leaf is almost always a determinate organ.
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Structural symmetry in the leaf
Simple leaves have three axes of symmetry: 1. Proximodistal axis from base of the leaf to the tip. 2. Adaxial-abaxial axis from the upper to the lower epidermis. 3. Centrolateral axis from the midrib to the margin.
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Structural symmetry in the leaf

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1. Proximodistal axis of the leaf
A. Proximodistal differences between leaf cells are visible at the P3 stage. B. Leaf matures in a tip-to-base (basipetal) wave. C. knotted 1, consequence of gain of function

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2. Adaxial-abaxial axis (dorsoventral axis)
 adaxial-abaxial asymmetry. Dicot leaf primordium is initiated as a radially symmetric outgrowth that rapidly acquires adaxial-abaxial asymmetry:
In tobacco P1 (the youngest visible leaf primordium) is cylindrical whereas P2 has a flattened adaxial surface.

 adaxial-abaxial polarity in the leaf depends on the radial axis of the shoot apical meristem.
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Symmetry development in the leaf

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3. Centrolateral axis
In dicots, the transition from a radially symmetric P1 leaf primordium to a flattened P2 primordium results in bilateral symmetry.  At this stage centrolateral axis becomes apparent.  The extension of lamina along the cenrolateral axis requires the juxtaposition of adaxial and abaxial cell types. phan example
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Adaxial leaf tissue and SAM
Adaxial leaf tissue promotes the formation of axillary meristems and maintains the development of the primary shoot apical meristem.  In wild type Arabidopsis leaf, an axillary meristem develops from adaxial cells at leaf base.

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