Genetics, Breeding, Growth


Researchers identify gene that participates in leaf response to environmental conditions: Heterophylly, the plasticity of leaf form in response to environmental conditions, occurs in aquatic and amphibious plants where it modulates leaf form, gas exchange and photosynthesis, providing a good model for plant acclimation to environment.

Although heterophylly was widely seen in nature, no transgenic studies have been performed yet and its molecular mechanism is largely unknown. Hygrophila difformis (Acanthaceae) has recently merged as a plant model for the study of heterophylly due to its typical phenotypic plasticity to various ecological factors, but the mechanisms had not been identified.

In a study published in Plant Physiology, a research team led by Prof. Hou Hongwei from the Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences provided genetic evidence on the molecular mechanism of heterophylly in Hygrophila difformis.

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