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Diversity in leaf shape is produced by alterations of the margin: for example, deep dissection leads to leaflet formation and less-pronounced incision results in serrations or lobes. By combining gene silencing and mutant analyses in four distantly related eudicot species, we show that reducing the function of NAM/CUC boundary genes (NO APICAL MERISTEM and CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON) leads to a suppression of all marginal outgrowths and to fewer and fused leaflets. We propose that NAM/CUC genes promote formation of a boundary domain that delimits leaflets. This domain has a dual role promoting leaflet separation locally and leaflet formation at distance. In this manner, boundaries of compound leaves resemble boundaries functioning during animal development.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.1166168

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science

Publication Date

19/12/2008

Volume

322

Pages

1835 - 1839

Keywords

Amino Acid Sequence, Aquilegia, Cardamine, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Gene Silencing, Genes, Plant, Lycopersicon esculentum, Molecular Sequence Data, Peas, Phylogeny, Plant Leaves, Plant Proteins, Plants, Genetically Modified, Solanum tuberosum, Transcription Factors