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Keywords:

  • differentiation;
  • leaf;
  • meristem;
  • morphogenesis;
  • pattern formation

Contents

  •  Summary 1

  • I.
     Introduction 1
  • II. 
    The shoot apical meristem: the creation of a field of cells from which leaves can be formed 2
  • III. 
    Patterning: the selection of leaf initiation site 2
  • IV. 
    Morphogenesis: the initial stages of leaf formation 4
  • V. 
    Differentiation and determination: transcriptional networks controlling determinancy 6
  • VI. 
    The elaboration of leaf form 6
  • VII. 
    Early steps in leaf histogenesis 7
  • VIII. 
    Later steps in leaf differentiation: epidermal cell fate 8
  • IX. 
    Compound and simple leaves: variation on a theme? 9
  • X. 
    Changes in leaf form: developmental and environmental influences 9
  • XI. 
    A model of leaf formation 9
  •  Acknowledgements 10

  •  References 10

Summary

The formation of a leaf is a basic aspect of plant development. This review provides an overview of our present understanding of the process from initiation to the final form of the leaf. Molecular genetic and cell biology approaches have yielded significant advances in this area, adding not only to our knowledge of leaf development but also to fundamental principles in plant biology. These principles will be highlighted, as well as areas where our understanding is still incomplete, in particular the problem of coordinating the multifaceted steps involved in the generation of the leaf structure.