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Abaxial Greening Phenotype in Hybrid Aspen

Author(s): Julia S. Nowak | Carl J. Douglas | Quentin C.B. Cronk

Journal: Plants
ISSN 2223-7747

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 279;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: adaxial–abaxial polarity | Populus trichocarpa | Populus tremula x tremuloides | ASYMMETRIC LEAVES1 | abaxial greenness | KANADI | leaf blade

The typical angiosperm leaf, as in Arabidopsis, is bifacial consisting of top (adaxial) and bottom (abaxial) surfaces readily distinguishable by the underlying cell type (palisade and spongy mesophyll, respectively). Species of the genus Populus have leaves that are either conventionally bifacial or isobilateral. Isobilateral leaves have palisade mesophyll on the top and bottom of the leaf, making the two sides virtually indistinguishable at the macroscopic level. In poplars this has been termed the “abaxial greening” phenotype. Previous work has implicated ASYMMETRIC LEAVES1 (AS1) as an essential determinant of palisade mesophyll development. This gene, as well as other genes (84 in all) putatively involved in setting the dorsiventral axis of leaves, were investigated in two Populus species: black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and hybrid aspen (P. tremula x tremuloides), representative of each leaf type (bifacial and isobilateral, respectively). Poplar orthologs of AS1 have significantly higher expression in aspen leaf blade and lower in the petiole, suggestive of a potential role in the isobilateral leaf phenotype consistent with the previously observed phenotypes. Furthermore, an ABERRANT TESTA SHAPE (ATS) ortholog has significantly lower expression in aspen leaf tissue, also suggesting a possible contribution of this gene to abaxial greening.
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