Biotech Updates

Plant Leaves Possess A Molecular Compass

August 29, 2018

Hundreds of cells are present in plant leaves. They are coordinated and likened to an internal molecular compass within each cell. This compass gives directionality through a biochemical field across the leaf. Called polarity field, this molecular compass allows cells to coordinate growth and form the final shape of leaves.

A research team from the John Innes Centre (JIC) tested coordinated polarity field in the cells of a leaf using Arabidopsis. They used a protein called BASL to reveal the compass within cells. They found that the BASL protein was always restricted to the end of the cell closest to the leaf base. The protein allowed the researchers to see that the cells all have a compass, pointing in the same direction across the leaf.

For more details, read the JIC news release.