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Toward a Biophysical Theory of Organogenesis: Birefringence Observations on Regenerating Leaves in the Succulent, Graptopetalum paraguayense E. Walther

Paul B. Green and Jeanne M. Lang
Planta
Vol. 151, No. 5 (1981), pp. 413-426
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23375045
Page Count: 14
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Toward a Biophysical Theory of Organogenesis: Birefringence Observations on Regenerating Leaves in the Succulent, Graptopetalum paraguayense E. Walther
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Abstract

Polarity shifts occur during organogenesis. The histological criterion for polarity is the direction of cell division. The biophysical criterion is the orientation of reinforcing cellulose microfibrils which lie normal to the organ axis and which determine the preferred growth direction. Using cell pattern to deduce cell lineage, and polarized light to study cellulose alignment, both aspects of polarity were examined in the epidermis of regenerating G. paraguayense. In this system new leaves and a stem arise from parallel cell files on a mature leaf. Large (90°) shifts in polarity occur in regions of the epidermis to give the new organs radial symmetry in the surface plane (files radiating from a pole). Study of the shifts in the epidermis showed that, during certain stages, shifts in the division direction are accompanied by shifts in the cellulose deposition direction, as expected. The new cellulose orientation is parallel to the new cross wall. During normal organ extension, however, shifts in division direction do not bring on changes in cellulose pattern. Thus the coupling between the two kinds of polarity is facultative. This variable relation is used in a biophysical model which can account for the reorganization of cell file pattern and cellulose reinforcement pattern into the radial symmetry of the new organ.

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