Faculté des sciences

Microsurgical and laser ablation analysis of leaf positioning and dorsoventral patterning in tomato

Reinhardt, Didier ; Frenz, Martin ; Mandel, Therese ; Kuhlemeier, Cris

In: Development, 2005, vol. 132, p. 15

Leaves are arranged according to regular patterns, a phenomenon referred to as phyllotaxis. Important determinants of phyllotaxis are the divergence angle between successive leaves, and the size of the leaves relative to the shoot axis. Young leaf primordia are thought to provide positional information to the meristem, thereby influencing the positioning of new primordia and hence the divergence... Plus

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    Summary
    Leaves are arranged according to regular patterns, a phenomenon referred to as phyllotaxis. Important determinants of phyllotaxis are the divergence angle between successive leaves, and the size of the leaves relative to the shoot axis. Young leaf primordia are thought to provide positional information to the meristem, thereby influencing the positioning of new primordia and hence the divergence angle. On the contrary, the meristem signals to the primordia to establish their dorsoventral polarity, which is a prerequisite for the formation of a leaf blade. These concepts originate from classical microsurgical studies carried out between the 1920s and the 1970s. Even though these techniques have been abandoned in favor of genetic analysis, the resulting insights remain a cornerstone of plant developmental biology. Here, we employ new microsurgical techniques to reassess and extend the classical studies on phyllotaxis and leaf polarity. Previous experiments have indicated that the isolation of an incipient primordium by a tangential incision caused a change of divergence angle between the two subsequent primordia, indicating that pre-existing primordia influence further phyllotaxis. Here, we repeat these experiments and compare them with the results of laser ablation of incipient primordia. Furthermore, we explore to what extent the different pre-existing primordia influence the size and position of new organs, and hence phyllotaxis. We propose that the two youngest primordia (P₁ and P₂) are sufficient for the approximate positioning of the incipient primordium (I₁), and therefore for the perpetuation of the generative spiral, whereas the direct contact neighbours of I₁ (P₂ and P₃) control its delimitation and hence its exact size and position. Finally, we report L₁-specific cell ablation experiments suggesting that the meristem L₁ layer is essential for the dorsoventral patterning of leaf primordia.