Quantitative methods in like for like comparative analyses of Aphanoregma (Physcomitrella) patens phyllid development.

Ross J Dennis, Chris D Whitewoods, C Jill Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
154 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction.Aphanorrhegma (Physcomitrella) patens(Hedw.) Lindb. is an attractive model system for comparative analyses of leaf development because it evolved leaves (phyllids) independently toflowering plants, yet its genome contains homologues of many gene families that regulate angiosperm leaf development. In addition,A. patensphyllids are primarily a single cell layer thick, making it simple to identify the cellular basis of defects that perturb shape. Identification of gene functions in shape determination depends on like-for- like comparison of mutant versus wild-type plants.

Key results.Here we show that, if heteroblasty is not perturbed, such comparisons should use phyllid L13 or above in the heteroblastic series, and fully expanded phyllids above P7 in the developmental series. Using a quantitative approach, we show that heteroblastic size variation reflects differences in cell proliferation rather than cell size and shape. A comparison of control topinA pinBmutant phyllid development verifies that PIN proteins promote cell proliferation and suppress expansion to determine phyllid shape.

Conclusion.The results and approach that we have generated will be applicable to any study of A. patensphyllid development to reveal the cellular basis of phyllid size and shape variations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bryology
Early online date15 Oct 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Oct 2019


  • Aphanorrhegma
  • Physcomitrella
  • phyllid
  • pinA pinB
  • leaf evolution
  • evo-devo


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