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Extended differentiation of veins and stomata is essential for the expansion of large leaves in Rheum rhabarbarum


Cardoso, AA and Randall, JM and Jordan, GJ and McAdam, SAM, Extended differentiation of veins and stomata is essential for the expansion of large leaves in Rheum rhabarbarum, American Journal of Botany, 105, (12) pp. 1967-1974. ISSN 1537-2197 (2018) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1002/ajb2.1196


Premise of the Study: The densities of veins and stomata govern leaf water supply and gas exchange. They are coordinated to avoid overproduction of either veins or stomata. In many species, where leaf area is greater at low light, this coordination is primarily achieved through differential cell expansion, resulting in lower stomatal and vein density in larger leaves. This mechanism would, however, create highly inefficient leaves in species in which leaf area is greater at high light. Here we investigate the role of cell expansion and differentiation as regulators of vein and stomatal density in Rheum rhabarbarum, which produces large leaves under high light.

Methods: Rheum rhabarbarum plants were grown under full sunlight and 7% of full sunlight. Leaf area, stomatal density, and vein density were measured from leaves harvested at different intervals.

Key Results: Leaves of R. rhabarbarum expanded at high light were six times larger than leaves expanded at low light, yet vein and stomatal densities were similar. In high light‐expanded leaves, minor veins were continuously initiated as the leaves expanded, while an extended period of stomatal initiation, compared to leaves expanded at low light, occurred early in leaf development.

Conclusions: We demonstrate that R. rhabarbarum adjusts the initiation of stomata and minor veins at high light, allowing for the production of larger leaves uncoupled from lower vein and stomatal densities. We also present evidence for an independent control of vein and stomatal initiation, suggesting that this adjustment must involve some unknown developmental mechanism.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cell size, epidermis, leaf expansion, light intensity, stomatal development, stomatal density, vein density
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Jordan, GJ (Professor Greg Jordan)
UTAS Author:McAdam, SAM (Dr Scott McAdam)
ID Code:131738
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2019-04-02
Last Modified:2019-05-06
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