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Understanding of Leaf Development—the Science of Complexity

Polish Academy of Sciences Botanical Garden-Centre for Biodiversity Protection in Powsin, ul Prawdziwka 2, 02-973 Warsaw, Poland
Plants 2013, 2(3), 396-415;
Received: 28 April 2013 / Revised: 7 May 2013 / Accepted: 18 June 2013 / Published: 25 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leaf Development)
PDF [742 KB, uploaded 25 June 2013]


The leaf is the major organ involved in light perception and conversion of solar energy into organic carbon. In order to adapt to different natural habitats, plants have developed a variety of leaf forms, ranging from simple to compound, with various forms of dissection. Due to the enormous cellular complexity of leaves, understanding the mechanisms regulating development of these organs is difficult. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of technically advanced imaging techniques and computational modeling in studies of leaf development. Additionally, molecular tools for manipulation of morphogenesis were successfully used for in planta verification of developmental models. Results of these interdisciplinary studies show that global growth patterns influencing final leaf form are generated by cooperative action of genetic, biochemical, and biomechanical inputs. This review summarizes recent progress in integrative studies on leaf development and illustrates how intrinsic features of leaves (including their cellular complexity) influence the choice of experimental approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: leaf morphogenesis; biophysical and cellular aspects of leaf development; leaf shape leaf morphogenesis; biophysical and cellular aspects of leaf development; leaf shape

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Malinowski, R. Understanding of Leaf Development—the Science of Complexity. Plants 2013, 2, 396-415.

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