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Leaves with Kranz anatomy exhibit a highly characteristic arrangement of closely spaced veins surrounded by concentric wreaths of bundle sheath and mesophyll cells. This anatomical framework is vital for effective C4 photosynthesis in nearly all known land plant lineages and has evolved independently on over 60 occasions. Over the last 3 years, technological advances, particularly in high-throughput DNA sequencing, have allowed the development of Kranz anatomy to be interrogated at unprecedented depth. This review highlights the recent advances in our understanding that have been facilitated by systems biology approaches, and proposes a testable model for the regulation of Kranz development.

Original publication




Journal article


J Exp Bot

Publication Date





3327 - 3339


C4, Kranz, SHORT-ROOT, leaf development, maize, systems biology., Arabidopsis, Models, Biological, Photosynthesis, Phylogeny, Plant Leaves, Plant Roots, Systems Biology, Zea mays