Programmed cell death and leaf morphogenesis in Monstera obliqua (Araceae)

The unusual perforations in the leaf blades of Monstera obliqua arise through programmed cell death early in leaf development

Arunika H. L. A. N. Gunawardena

2005

Scholarcy highlights

  • The unusual perforations in the leaf blades of Monstera obliqua arise through programmed cell death early in leaf development
  • Gel electrophoresis indicates that DNA cleavage is random and does not result in bands that represent multiples of internucleosomal units
  • Cell walls within the perforation site remain intact, a small disk of dying tissue becomes detached from neighboring healthy tissues as the leaf expands and stretches the minute perforation
  • The cell biology of perforation formation in Monstera resembles that in the aquatic plant Aponogeton madagascariensis, but the absence of cell wall degradation and the simultaneous execution of programmed cell death throughout the perforation site reflect the convergent evolution of this distinct mode of leaf morphogenesis in these distantly related plants
  • We thank Dr Pauline Wang, Dr Keiko Yoshioka and Danielle Vidaurre for helpful advice on gel electrophoresis and Dr Ron Dengler for photography

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