Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First computer model of how buds grow into leaves

Date:
March 1, 2012
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
Leaves come in all shapes and sizes. Scientists have discovered the simple rules that control leaf shape during growth. Using this "recipe," they have developed the first computer model able to accurately emulate leaf growth from a bud.

Budding leaves.
Credit: John Innes Centre

Leaves come in all shapes and sizes. Scientists have discovered simple rules that control leaf shape during growth. Using this 'recipe', they have developed the first computer model able to accurately emulate leaf growth from a bud.

"A bud does not grow in all directions at the same rate," said Samantha Fox from the John Innes Centre on Norwich Research Park. "Otherwise leaves would be domed like a bud, not flat with a pointed tip."

By creating a computer model to grow a virtual leaf, the BBSRC-funded scientists managed to discover simple rules of leaf growth.

Similar to the way a compass works, plant cells have an inbuilt orientation system. Instead of a magnetic field, the cells have molecular signals to guide the axis on which they grow. As plant tissues deform during growth, the orientation and axis changes.

The molecular signals become patterned from an early stage within the bud, helping the leaf shape to emerge.

The researchers filmed a growing Arabidopsis leaf, a relative of oil seed rape, to help create a model which could simulate the growing process. They were able to film individual cells and track them as the plant grew.

It was also important to unpick the workings behind the visual changes and to test them in normal and mutant plants.

"The model is not just based on drawings of leaf shape at different stages," said Professor Enrico Coen. "To accurately recreate dynamic growth from bud to leaf, we had to establish the mathematical rules governing how leaf shapes are formed."

With this knowledge programmed into the model, developed in collaboration with Professor Andrew Bangham's team at the University of East Anglia, it can run independently to build a virtual but realistic leaf.

Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive of BBSRC said: "This exciting research highlights the potential of using computer and mathematical models for biological research to help us tackle complex questions and make predictions for the future. Computational modelling can give us a deeper and more rapid understanding of the biological systems that are vital to life on earth."

The model could now be used to help identify the genes that control leaf shape and whether different genes are behind different shapes.

"This simple model could account for the basic development and growth of all leaf shapes," said Fox. "The more we understand about how plants grow, the better we can prepare for our future -- providing food, fuel and preserving diversity."

A video to accompany this is available to view at: http://youtu.be/G4lLGTiNe2A


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwich BioScience Institutes. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Erika E. Kuchen, Samantha Fox, Pierre Barbier de Reuille, Richard Kennaway, Sandra Bensmihen, Jerome Avondo, Grant M. Calder, Paul Southam, Sarah Robinson, Andrew Bangham, and Enrico Coen. Generation of Leaf Shape Through Early Patterns of Growth and Tissue Polarity. Science, 2 March 2012: 1092-1096 DOI: 10.1126/science.1214678

Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "First computer model of how buds grow into leaves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301143434.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2012, March 1). First computer model of how buds grow into leaves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301143434.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "First computer model of how buds grow into leaves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301143434.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Let's Review Apple's Latest iPhone Reviews

Let's Review Apple's Latest iPhone Reviews

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The tech press has shared its thoughts on the latest iterations of Apple's iPhone. We summarize the reactions to help you decide: iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Reportedly Building Another New Photo Sharing App

Facebook Reportedly Building Another New Photo Sharing App

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Sources tell TechCrunch Facebook is working on Moments, an app for sharing photos with close friends and family. But why develop yet another new app? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins