Control of leaf and vein development by auxin.
Scarpella E., Barkoulas M., Tsiantis M.
Leaves are the main photosynthetic organs of vascular plants and show considerable diversity in their geometries, ranging from simple spoon-like forms to complex shapes with individual leaflets, as in compound leaves. Leaf vascular tissues, which act as conduits of both nutrients and signaling information, are organized in networks of different architectures that usually mirror the surrounding leaf shape. Understanding the processes that endow leaves and vein networks with ordered and closely aligned shapes has captured the attention of biologists and mathematicians since antiquity. Recent work has suggested that the growth regulator auxin has a key role in both initiation and elaboration of final morphology of both leaves and vascular networks. A key feature of auxin action is the existence of feedback loops through which auxin regulates its own transport. These feedbacks may facilitate the iterative generation of basic modules that underlies morphogenesis of both leaves and vasculature.