Balancing shoot apical meristem (SAM) maintenance and organ formation from its flanks is essential for proper plant growth and development and for the flexibility of organ production in response to internal and external cues. Leaves are formed at the SAM flanks and display a wide variability in size and form. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) leaves are compound with lobed margins. We exploited 18 recessive tomato mutants, representing four distinct phenotypic classes and six complementation groups, to track the genetic mechanisms involved in meristem function and compound-leaf patterning in tomato. In goblet (gob) mutants, the SAM terminates following cotyledon production, but occasionally partially recovers and produces simple leaves. expelled shoot (exp) meristems terminate after the production of several leaves, and these leaves show a reduced level of compoundness. short pedicel (spd) mutants are bushy, with impaired meristem structure, compact inflorescences, short pedicels and less compound leaves. In multi drop (mud) mutants, the leaves are more compound and the SAM tends to divide into two active meristems after the production of a few leaves. The range of leaf-compoundness phenotypes observed in these mutants suggests that compound-leaf patterning involves an array of genetic factors, which act successively to elaborate leaf shape. Furthermore, the results indicate that similar mechanisms underlie SAM activity and compound-leaf patterning in tomato.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grant no. IS-3453 from the US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD); no. 689/05 from The Israel Science Foundation (ISF); no. 824/2004 from the German Israeli Foundation (GIF), and the Mechplant project of the NEST program of the EU 6th Framework.
- Compound leaf
- Leaf shape
- Shoot apical meristem