Role of Mechanics in Plant Leaf Vein Morphogenesis
Jonathan Dawson Syracuse University
Host: Mark Bowick | Contact: Yudaisy Salomon Sargenton, email@example.com
Plant leaves and their vascular patterns not only provide some of the most impressive examples of complexity in the nature that surrounds us, but they are also a wonderful system for studying developmental dynamics. In my talk I will focus on the development of leaf primary vein in the growing leaf primordia of Arabadopsis Thaliana, a plant model system. Leaf primary vein is the first in a successive order of branched veins, to emerge in a growing leaf primordia. The development of leaf primary vein starts with very few cells which also synthesize auxin, a growth hormone that regulates both plant and leaf vascular development. The final morphology of primary vein, consists of only a thin strand of distinctively elongated primary vein cells. I will present a cell based model, that describes the formation and morphology of leaf primary vein in early stages of growing leaf primordia. The model captures the interplay between biochemistry and cell mechanics by simulating the tissue growth driven by inter-cellular diffusion of the plant hormone auxin, from auxin synthesizing cells. In close experimental collaboration with a team of plant biologists, we show that the dynamic modulation of cell mechanical properties based on cell auxin concentration can reproduce primary vein pattern, as observed in growing leaf primordia. We further tested our model with experiments in which the wild-type primary vein pattern is affected by inhibiting inter-cellular auxin transport.