Expression of the ASYMMETRIC LEAVES2 gene in the adaxial domain of Arabidopsis leaves represses cell proliferation in this domain and is critical for the development of properly expanded leaves

Plant J. 2007 Jul;51(2):173-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2007.03132.x. Epub 2007 Jun 8.


The ASYMMETRIC LEAVES2 (AS2) gene, a member of the AS2/LOB gene family, and the ASYMMETRIC LEAVES1 (AS1) gene of Arabidopsis thaliana participate in the development of a symmetrical, expanded lamina. We report here the patterns of expression of these genes, and the importance of the sites of such expression in leaf development. Transcripts of both genes accumulated in the entire leaf primordia at early stages, but the patterns of accumulation changed as the leaves expanded. AS2 and AS1 transcripts were detected, respectively, in the adaxial domain and in the inner domain between the adaxial and abaxial domains of leaves. The ratios of numbers of adaxial cells to abaxial cells in cotyledons of corresponding mutant lines were greater than the ratios in wild-type cotyledons. The low levels of ectopic expression of AS2 under the control of the AS1 promoter in as2 mutant plants restored an almost normal phenotype in some cases, but also resulted in flatter leaves than those of wild-type plants. Strong expression of the construct in wild-type and as2 plants, but not as1 plants, resulted in the formation of narrow, upwardly curled leaves. Our results indicate that AS2 represses cell proliferation in the adaxial domain in the presence of AS1, and that adaxial expression of AS2 at an appropriate level is critical for the development of a symmetrical, expanded lamina. Real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed that mutation of either AS2 or AS1 resulted in an increase in the levels of transcripts of ETTIN (ETT; also known as AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR3, ARF3) and KANADI2 (KAN2), which are abaxial determinants, and YABBY5 (YAB5). Thus, AS2 and AS1 might negatively regulate the expression of these genes in the adaxial domain, which might be related to the development of flat and expanded leaves.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cotyledon / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Mutation
  • Plant Leaves / cytology*
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism*
  • Plant Shoots / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • AS2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • ASYMMETRIC LEAVES1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Transcription Factors