Reduced leaf complexity in tomato wiry mutants suggests a role for PHAN and KNOX genes in generating compound leaves

Minsung Kim, Thinh Pham, Ashley Hamidi, Sheila McCormick, Robert K. Kuzoff, Neelima Sinha

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Recent work on species with simple leaves suggests that the juxtaposition of abaxial (lower) and adaxial (upper) cell fates (dorsiventrality) in leaf primordia is necessary for lamina outgrowth. However, how leaf dorsiventral symmetry affects leaflet formation in species with compound leaves is largely unknown. In four non-allelic dorsiventrality-defective mutants in tomato, wiry, wiry3, wiry4 and wiry6, partial or complete loss of ab-adaxiality was observed in leaves as well as in lateral organs in the flower, and the number of leaflets in leaves was reduced significantly. Morphological analyses and expression patterns of molecular markers for ab-adaxiality [LePHANTASTICA (LePHAN) and LeYABBY B (LeYAB B)] indicated that ab-adaxial cell fates were altered in mutant leaves. Reduction in expression of both LeT6 (a tomato KNOX gene) and LePHAN during post-primordial leaf development was correlated with a reduction in leaflet formation in the wiry mutants. LePHAN expression in LeT6 overexpression mutants suggests that LeT6 is a negative regulator of LePHAN. KNOX expression is known to be correlated with leaflet formation and we show that LeT6 requires LePHAN activity to form leaflets. These phenotypes and gene expression patterns suggest that the abaxial and adaxial domains of leaf primordia are important for leaflet primordia formation, and thus also important for compound leaf development. Furthermore, the regulatory relationship between LePHAN and KNOX genes is different from that proposed for simple-leafed species. We propose that this change in the regulatory relationship between KNOX genes and LePHAN plays a role in compound leaf development and is an important feature that distinguishes simple leaves from compound leaves.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4405-4415
    Number of pages10
    Issue number18
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003


    • Compound leaf
    • KNOX
    • Leaf dorsiventrality
    • PHAN
    • Tomato


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