Multiple steps of leaf thickening during sun-leaf formation in Arabidopsis.Plant J 2019PJ
Plant morphological and physiological traits exhibit plasticity in response to light intensity. Leaf thickness is enhanced under high light (HL) conditions compared with low light (LL) conditions through increases in both cell number and size in the dorsoventral direction; however, the regulation of such phenotypic plasticity in leaf thickness (namely, sun- or shade-leaf formation) during the developmental process remains largely unclear. By modifying observation techniques for tiny leaf primordia in Arabidopsis thaliana, we analysed sun- and shade-leaf development in a time-course manner and found that the process of leaf thickening can be divided into early and late phases. In the early phase, anisotropic cell elongation and periclinal cell division on the adaxial side of mesophyll tissue occurred under the HL conditions used, which resulted in the dorsoventral growth of sun leaves. Anisotropic cell elongation in the palisade tissue is triggered by blue-light irradiation. We discovered that anisotropic cell elongation processes before or after periclinal cell division were differentially regulated independent of or dependent upon signalling through blue-light receptors. In contrast, during the late phase, isotropic cell expansion associated with the endocycle, which determined the final leaf thickness, occurred irrespective of the light conditions. Sucrose production was high under HL conditions, and we found that sucrose promoted isotropic cell expansion and the endocycle even under LL conditions. Our analyses based on this method of time-course observation addressed the developmental framework of sun- and shade-leaf formation.