Shaping Plant Diversity via Genetic and Hormonal Signals

In the latest edition of the open access journal PLoS Biology, a group of UK biologists has detailed new insights into the differences and similarities between flowering plants’ petal and leaf formation.  Roses are the perfect example of how the same plant can grow pointed leaves, but fan-shaped petals use a similar signaling process, according to the researchers.  The group, led by Enrico Coen from the John Innes Centre (JIC) in Norwich, performed previous research on the leaf development in Arabidopsis, a mustard plant that is popular in laboratories. The team found that leaf shape is created partially by a hormone known as auxin, which is transported from cell to cell in a particular direction.

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