Comparative plant development: the time of the leaf?

Nat Rev Genet. 2003 Mar;4(3):169-80. doi: 10.1038/nrg1002.


A key problem in developmental biology is understanding the origin of morphological innovations. Comparative studies in plants with different leaf morphologies indicate that the developmental pathway defined by KNOTTED1-type homeodomain proteins could be involved in generating different leaf forms. The differential expression of regulatory proteins has emerged as an important factor in driving morphological innovations in the plant kingdom--an idea that is well supported by quantitative trait locus analyses.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genes, Regulator
  • Genome, Plant
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Meristem / growth & development
  • Plant Development*
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Signal Transduction


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Kn1 protein, plant
  • Plant Proteins