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Phased Control of Expansin Activity during Leaf Development Identifies a Sensitivity Window for Expansin-Mediated Induction of Leaf Growth

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JournalPlant Physiology
DatePublished - Dec 2009
Issue number4
Volume151
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)1844-1854
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Expansins are cell wall proteins associated with the process of plant growth. However, investigations in which expansin gene expression has been manipulated throughout the plant have often led to inconclusive results. In this article, we report on a series of experiments in which overexpression of expansin was targeted to specific phases of leaf growth using an inducible promoter system. The data indicate that there is a restricted window of sensitivity when increased expansin gene expression leads to increased endogenous expansin activity and an increase in leaf growth. This phase of maximum expansin efficacy corresponds to the mid phase of leaf growth. We propose that the effectiveness of expansin action depends on the presence of other modulating factors in the leaf and we suggest that it is the control of expression of these factors (in conjunction with expansin gene expression) that defines the extent of leaf growth. These data help to explain some of the previously observed variation in growth response following manipulation of expansin gene expression and highlight a potential linkage of the expression of modifiers of expansin activity with the process of exit from cell division.

    Research areas

  • CELL-WALL EXTENSION, DIFFERENTIAL EXPRESSION, ARABIDOPSIS-THALIANA, GENE-EXPRESSION, TOMATO FRUIT, PLANTS, ELONGATION, PROTEINS, CURVATURE, MERISTEM

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