Entries by Chris Whitewoods

Marginal differences play a central role in complex leaf development

Development involves a delicate patterning of cell division and differentiation in three dimensions. This is beautifully illustrated in leaves, where three axes are visible: proximo-distal (from base to tip), medio-lateral (from the midvein to the margin/edge of the blade) and adaxial-abaxial (from upper to lower surface of the blade). Years of work have identified genes […]

Let’s stick together – a pectin biosynthetic mutant reveals the interconnectedness of plant cell walls

The plant cell wall is vital for plant survival—it mediates defence against pathogens, provides structural stability and controls growth to produce final plant form. Plant cell walls are composite structures formed mainly from cellulose, hemicelluloses, and pectins, and the interactions of these components produce a complex structure that fulfils all these needs at once. But […]