In contrast with flowering plants, earlier studies have hypothesized that successive rotating division planes of a single apical cell directly determine phyllotaxis of the moss Physcomitrium patens, with each apical cell derivative directly generating a leaf. This provides a simple system to understand how the geometry of a single apical cell and its daughter cells, their resultant physical forces and biochemical cues self-organize 4D patterns of division orientation and ultimately shape a shoot. To explore the fundamental question of how phyllotaxis emerges from biochemical and physical signals, at single cell-resolution, our objectives are to use a combination of predictive computational modeling, developmental genetics, optical and physical imaging, single cell transcriptomics and optogenetics. This is a collaborative project with the groups of T. Vernoux, Y. Coudert, M. Zurbriggen and R. Smith.


S. Brady, T. Vernoux, Y. Coudert, M. Zurbriggen and R. Smith.


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