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      The hidden diversity of vascular patterns in flower heads

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          Summary

          • Vascular systems are intimately related to the shape and spatial arrangement of the plant organs they support. We investigate the largely unexplored association between spiral phyllotaxis and the vascular system in Asteraceae flower heads.

          • We imaged heads of eight species using synchrotron‐based X‐ray micro‐computed tomography and applied original virtual reality and haptic software to explore head vasculature in three dimensions. We then constructed a computational model to infer a plausible patterning mechanism.

          • The vascular system in the head of the model plant Gerbera hybrida is qualitatively different from those of Bellis perennis and Helianthus annuus, characterized previously. Cirsium vulgare, Craspedia globosa, Echinacea purpurea, Echinops bannaticus, and Tanacetum vulgare represent variants of the Bellis and Helianthus systems. In each species, the layout of the main strands is stereotypical, but details vary. The observed vascular patterns can be generated by a common computational model with different parameter values.

          • In spite of the observed differences of vascular systems in heads, they may be produced by a conserved mechanism. The diversity and irregularities of vasculature stand in contrast with the relative uniformity and regularity of phyllotactic patterns, confirming that phyllotaxis in heads is not driven by the vasculature.

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          Fiji: an open-source platform for biological-image analysis.

          Fiji is a distribution of the popular open-source software ImageJ focused on biological-image analysis. Fiji uses modern software engineering practices to combine powerful software libraries with a broad range of scripting languages to enable rapid prototyping of image-processing algorithms. Fiji facilitates the transformation of new algorithms into ImageJ plugins that can be shared with end users through an integrated update system. We propose Fiji as a platform for productive collaboration between computer science and biology research communities.
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            Control of leaf vascular patterning by polar auxin transport.

            The formation of the leaf vascular pattern has fascinated biologists for centuries. In the early leaf primordium, complex networks of procambial cells emerge from homogeneous subepidermal tissue. The molecular nature of the underlying positional information is unknown, but various lines of evidence implicate gradually restricted transport routes of the plant hormone auxin in defining sites of procambium formation. Here we show that a crucial member of the AtPIN family of auxin-efflux-associated proteins, AtPIN1, is expressed prior to pre-procambial and procambial cell fate markers in domains that become restricted toward sites of procambium formation. Subcellular AtPIN1 polarity indicates that auxin is directed to distinct "convergence points" in the epidermis, from where it defines the positions of major veins. Integrated polarities in all emerging veins indicate auxin drainage toward pre-existing veins, but veins display divergent polarities as they become connected at both ends. Auxin application and transport inhibition reveal that convergence point positioning and AtPIN1 expression domain dynamics are self-organizing, auxin-transport-dependent processes. We derive a model for self-regulated, reiterative patterning of all vein orders and postulate at its onset a common epidermal auxin-focusing mechanism for major-vein positioning and phyllotactic patterning.
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              Regulation of phyllotaxis by polar auxin transport.

              The regular arrangement of leaves around a plant's stem, called phyllotaxis, has for centuries attracted the attention of philosophers, mathematicians and natural scientists; however, to date, studies of phyllotaxis have been largely theoretical. Leaves and flowers are formed from the shoot apical meristem, triggered by the plant hormone auxin. Auxin is transported through plant tissues by specific cellular influx and efflux carrier proteins. Here we show that proteins involved in auxin transport regulate phyllotaxis. Our data indicate that auxin is transported upwards into the meristem through the epidermis and the outermost meristem cell layer. Existing leaf primordia act as sinks, redistributing auxin and creating its heterogeneous distribution in the meristem. Auxin accumulation occurs only at certain minimal distances from existing primordia, defining the position of future primordia. This model for phyllotaxis accounts for its reiterative nature, as well as its regularity and stability.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                New Phytologist
                New Phytologist
                0028-646X
                1469-8137
                February 15 2024
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Computer Science University of Calgary Calgary AB T2N 1N4 Canada
                [2 ] Department of Agricultural Sciences, Viikki Plant Science Centre University of Helsinki PO Box 27 Helsinki 00014 Finland
                [3 ] Canadian Light Source Inc. 44 Innovation Blvd Saskatoon SK S7N 2V3 Canada
                Article
                10.1111/nph.19571
                9d781c38-0ff0-4468-b33b-947b49306145
                © 2024

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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