Study looks at creation of leaf patterns

Jun 16, 2006

University of Alberta scientists say they have determined, in part, how patterns on leaves are formed.

"For years people have been trying to understand this beautiful formation," said Enrico Scarpella of the U of A's Department of Biological Sciences. "We were able to connect the mechanism responsible for the initiation of the veins in the leaf with that of formation of the shoot and root.

"With our piece of the puzzle added," he said, "it indeed seems the same mechanism is responsible for all these events."

What Scarpella and his research team discovered has interested scientists around the world. It has been known for several years that a hormone called auxin stimulates the formation of the veins.

"However, the theory argued that in each individual vein, auxin could only run one way at any given time, making them sort of alternate one-way street," Scarpella said.

By labeling the protein that transports auxin with a fluorescent tag, he could watch how auxin was transported during vein formation. That approach allowed the team to identify cells within individual veins that transport the hormone auxin in two opposite directions.

The study is detailed in the journal Genes and Development.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Prized sea snail not at risk of extinction, federal officials say

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Key decisions on drones likely from Congress

19 hours ago

The Obama administration is on the verge of proposing long-awaited rules for commercial drone operations in U.S. skies, but key decisions on how much access to grant drones are likely to come from Congress ...

Asteroids: Breaking up is hard to do

1 hour ago

(Phys.org)—Hundreds of thousands of asteroids are known to orbit our Sun at distances ranging from near the Earth to beyond Saturn. The most widely known collection of asteroids, the "main belt," contains ...

Radiochemistry Annex: It's getting hot in there

1 hour ago

Scientist Daniel Kaplan has found it challenging to study radionuclides in contaminated wetlands due to the radioactive hazard and the biogeochemical complexity of the subsurface soils. Fortunately, he's ...

Recommended for you

Keep dogs and cats safe during winter

Dec 27, 2014

(HealthDay)—Winter can be tough on dogs and cats, but there are a number of safe and effective ways you can help them get through the cold season, an expert says.

Scientists target mess from Christmas tree needles

Dec 26, 2014

The presents are unwrapped. The children's shrieks of delight are just a memory. Now it's time for another Yuletide tradition: cleaning up the needles that are falling off your Christmas tree.

Top Japan lab dismisses ground-breaking stem cell study

Dec 26, 2014

Japan's top research institute on Friday hammered the final nail in the coffin of what was once billed as a ground-breaking stem cell study, dismissing it as flawed and saying the work could have been fabricated.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.