Special Issue "From Genes to Shape and Function: Leaf Morphogenesis at Play"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Development and Morphogenesis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 August 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Patrick Laufs Website E-Mail
Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, INRA, AgroParisTech, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, RD10, 78026 Versailles Cedex, France
Interests: leaf; boundary domain; growth; microRNA; transcription factors; hormones

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Leaves are not only the main photosynthetic organs of plants and, as such, critical to plant growth and biomass production, but also provide wonderful models to study how complex biological shapes arise from simple structures, what are the evolutionary mechanisms leading to shape variation between species, and how developmental or environmental cues act to generate shape plasticity within an organism. For instance, studies on the polarization of the leaf into abaxial or adaxial domains have provided insights into the mechanisms behind patterning into different domains. Studies on leaf growth enlighten how hormones, transcription factors and small RNAs interact to regulate cell proliferation and expansion, and how these processes are integrated at the whole organ level to regulate leaf shape and size. Beside such studies that enrich our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that contribute to organ shape elaboration, other comparative analyses between species with contrasted shapes have examplified how the apparition of a new actor, or rewiring the interactions between existing ones, can modify the regulatory network leading to shape innovations during evolution. An emerging field is to build on the knowledge of the mechanisms at play during morphogenesis to understand how they may be modified by environmental signals, such as light quantity or quality or temperature, to allow leaf plasticity. Finally, a standing question that is both of fundamental and applied interest, is the adaptive value of leaf shape in relation with its photosynthetic activity.

This Special Issue welcomes all types of papers (research papers, methods, reviews) addressing either the molecular, genetic or cellular mechanisms acting during leaf morphogenesis, their flexibility during evolution or under different environmental conditions, or the functional significance of different leaf morphologies.

Dr. Patrick Laufs
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • leaf
  • morphogenesis
  • patterning
  • growth
  • microRNA
  • transcription factors
  • hormones
  • plasticity
  • shape evolution
  • organ shape/function relationship

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Evolution of the KANADI Gene Family and Leaf Development in Lycophytes and Ferns
Plants 2019, 8(9), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090313 - 30 Aug 2019
Abstract
Leaves constitute the main photosynthetic plant organ and even though their importance is not debated, the origin and development of leaves still is. The leaf developmental network has been elucidated for angiosperms, from genes controlling leaf initiation, to leaf polarity and shape. There [...] Read more.
Leaves constitute the main photosynthetic plant organ and even though their importance is not debated, the origin and development of leaves still is. The leaf developmental network has been elucidated for angiosperms, from genes controlling leaf initiation, to leaf polarity and shape. There are four KANADI (KAN) paralogs in Arabidopsis thaliana needed for organ polarity with KAN1 and KAN2 specifying abaxial leaf identity. Yet, studies of this gene lineage outside angiosperms are required to better understand the evolutionary patterns of leaf development and the role of KAN homologs. We studied the evolution of KAN genes across vascular plants and their expression by in situ hybridization in the fern, Equisetum hyemale and the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii. Our results show that the expression of KAN genes in leaves is similar between ferns and angiosperms. However, the expression patterns observed in the lycophyte S. moellendorffii are significantly different compared to all other vascular plants, suggesting that the KAN function in leaf polarity is likely only conserved across ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms. This study indicates that mechanisms for leaf development are different in lycophytes compared to other vascular plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Genes to Shape and Function: Leaf Morphogenesis at Play)
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Shoot Biomass Production in Mulberry: Combined Selection with Leaf Morphological and Physiological Traits
Plants 2019, 8(5), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8050118 - 06 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Physiological and morphological traits have a considerable impact on the biomass production of fast-growing trees. To compare cultivar difference in shoot biomass and investigate its relationships with leaf functional traits in mulberry, agronomic traits and 20 physiological and morphological attributes of 3-year-old mulberry [...] Read more.
Physiological and morphological traits have a considerable impact on the biomass production of fast-growing trees. To compare cultivar difference in shoot biomass and investigate its relationships with leaf functional traits in mulberry, agronomic traits and 20 physiological and morphological attributes of 3-year-old mulberry trees from eight cultivars growing in a common garden were analyzed. The cultivars Xiang7920, Yu711, and Yunsang2 had higher shoot fresh biomass (SFB), which was closely associated with their rapid leaf expansion rate, large leaf area, and high stable carbon isotope composition (δ13C). Conversely, the cultivars 7307, Husang32, Wupu, Yunguo1, and Liaolu11 were less productive, and this was primarily the result of slower leaf expansion and smaller leaf size. Growth performance was negatively correlated with leaf δ13C and positively correlated with the total nitrogen concentration, indicating that a compromise exists in mulberry between water use efficiency (WUE) (low δ13C) and high nitrogen consumption for rapid growth. Several morphological traits, including the maximum leaf area (LAmax), leaf width and length, petiole width and length, leaf number per shoot, and final shoot height were correlated with SFB. The physiological traits that were also influential factors of shoot biomass were the leaf δ13C, the total nitrogen concentration, and the water content. Among the studied leaf traits, LAmax, leaf δ13C, and concentrations of chlorophyll a and b were identified as the most representative predictor variables for SFB, accounting for 73% of the variability in SFB. In conclusion, a combination of LAmax, leaf δ13C, and chlorophyll should be considered in selection programs for high-yield mulberry cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Genes to Shape and Function: Leaf Morphogenesis at Play)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Dynamic Genetic-Hormonal Regulatory Network Controlling the Trichome Development in Leaves
Plants 2019, 8(8), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8080253 - 28 Jul 2019
Abstract
Plant trichomes are outgrowths developed from an epidermal pavement cells of leaves and other organs. Trichomes (also called ‘hairs’) play well-recognized roles in defense against insect herbivores, forming a physical barrier that obstructs insect movement and mediating chemical defenses. In addition, trichomes can [...] Read more.
Plant trichomes are outgrowths developed from an epidermal pavement cells of leaves and other organs. Trichomes (also called ‘hairs’) play well-recognized roles in defense against insect herbivores, forming a physical barrier that obstructs insect movement and mediating chemical defenses. In addition, trichomes can act as a mechanosensory switch, transducing mechanical stimuli (e.g., insect movement) into physiological signals, helping the plant to respond to insect attacks. Hairs can also modulate plant responses to abiotic stresses, such as water loss, an excess of light and temperature, and reflect light to protect plants against UV radiation. The structure of trichomes is species-specific and this trait is generally related to their function. These outgrowths are easily analyzed and their origin represents an outstanding subject to study epidermal cell fate and patterning in plant organs. In leaves, the developmental control of the trichomatous complement has highlighted a regulatory network based on four fundamental elements: (i) genes that activate and/or modify the normal cell cycle of epidermal pavement cells (i.e., endoreduplication cycles); (ii) transcription factors that create an activator/repressor complex with a central role in determining cell fate, initiation, and differentiation of an epidermal cell in trichomes; (iii) evidence that underlines the interplay of the aforesaid complex with different classes of phytohormones; (iv) epigenetic mechanisms involved in trichome development. Here, we reviewed the role of genes in the development of trichomes, as well as the interaction between genes and hormones. Furthermore, we reported basic studies about the regulation of the cell cycle and the complexity of trichomes. Finally, this review focused on the epigenetic factors involved in the initiation and development of hairs, mainly on leaves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Genes to Shape and Function: Leaf Morphogenesis at Play)
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Open AccessReview
The Diverse Roles of Auxin in Regulating Leaf Development
Plants 2019, 8(7), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8070243 - 23 Jul 2019
Abstract
Leaves, the primary plant organs that function in photosynthesis and respiration, have highly organized, flat structures that vary within and among species. In recent years, it has become evident that auxin plays central roles in leaf development, including leaf initiation, blade formation, and [...] Read more.
Leaves, the primary plant organs that function in photosynthesis and respiration, have highly organized, flat structures that vary within and among species. In recent years, it has become evident that auxin plays central roles in leaf development, including leaf initiation, blade formation, and compound leaf patterning. In this review, we discuss how auxin maxima form to define leaf primordium formation. We summarize recent progress in understanding of how spatial auxin signaling promotes leaf blade formation. Finally, we discuss how spatial auxin transport and signaling regulate the patterning of compound leaves and leaf serration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Genes to Shape and Function: Leaf Morphogenesis at Play)
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