Left–right leaf asymmetry in decussate and distichous phyllotactic systems

Martinez, Ciera C.; Chitwood, Daniel H.; Smith, Richard Simon; Sinha, Neelima R. (2016). Left–right leaf asymmetry in decussate and distichous phyllotactic systems. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society. Series B - biological sciences, 371(1710), p. 20150412. Royal Society of London 10.1098/rstb.2015.0412

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Leaves in plants with spiral phyllotaxy exhibit directional asymmetries, such that all the leaves originating from a meristem of a particular chirality are similarly asymmetric relative to each other. Models of auxin flux capable of recapitulating spiral phyllotaxis predict handed auxin asymmetries in initiating leaf primordia with empirically verifiable effects on superficially bilaterally symmetric leaves. Here, we extend a similar analysis of leaf asymmetry to decussate and distichous phyllotaxy. We found that our simulation models of these two patterns predicted mirrored asymmetries in auxin distribution in leaf primordia pairs. To empirically verify the morphological consequences of asymmetric auxin distribution, we analysed the morphology of a tomato sister-of-pin-formed1a (sopin1a) mutant, entire-2, in which spiral phyllotaxy consistently transitions to a decussate state. Shifts in the displacement of leaflets on the left and right sides of entire-2 leaf pairs mirror each other, corroborating predicted model results. We then analyse the shape of more than 800 common ivy (Hedera helix) and more than 3000 grapevine (Vitis and Ampelopsis spp.) leaf pairs and find statistical enrichment of predicted mirrored asymmetries. Our results demonstrate that left-right auxin asymmetries in models of decussate and distichous phyllotaxy successfully predict mirrored asymmetric leaf morphologies in superficially symmetric leaves

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Development
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Smith, Richard Simon


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)




Royal Society of London




Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

15 Mar 2017 11:34

Last Modified:

15 Mar 2017 11:34

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

plant development, symmetry, auxin, phyllotaxy, leaf development





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