The ERECTA gene plays a role in the balance between epidermal cell expansion and division in leaves. Tisné et al. perform spatial and temporal analyses of these processes in successive developing leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana in ERECTA and erecta lines in comparison with LER and Ler lines, and find that loss of ERECTA function leads to a low expansion rate coupled with an increase in the duration of cell expansion. The mutation eliminates the tip-to-base cellular gradient generally observed in the leaf epidermis and also flattens the heteroblastic changes in epidermal cell area and number within a rosette.
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