About this Research Topic
The petal is a unique organ in flowering plants. The diverse morphologies of petals are not only of important ornamental value for horticulturists, but also serve as a useful genetic resource to investigate the mechanisms of plant organogenesis. Petals are simple and non-essential organs, and largely impervious to environmental perturbations, enabling easy application of many genetic strategies that are not feasible in other plant systems. Petals also have a typical pattern of plant organogenesis that is determined by the coordination of active cell division and subsequent transition to post-mitotic cell expansion. Therefore, many growth-regulating genes identified in the petal also play vital roles in the development of other organs; this makes the petal an excellent system for uncovering general mechanisms of plant organogenesis. Moreover, the petal is also an ideal organ for studying the cellular basis of plant development, as petals of many species have highly specialized epidermal cells whose morphology directly affects the shape of the entire organ.
Recent studies on the model species, such as Arabidopsis and Antirrhinum, have uncovered an several genes and pathways that control petal identity specification, growth and cell type differentiation. These results have started building a framework for understanding the process and mechanisms of petal organogenesis, and provided insights in the genetic control of plant organ growth in general. In the proposed Research Topic, we highlight current advances in the genetic, molecular and cellular studies of petal development in both model and non-model species. We aim to further elucidate how the key genetic regulators act together to control cell division, expansion and differentiation in petal organogenesis; how these critical processes coordinate to pattern the petal as a whole; and how evolution impinges on the functions of these key regulators to create the diverse form of petals in the nature.
Our Research Topic covers the following themes:
- Genetic and epigenetic regulation of petal size and shape, particularly the related studies using quantitative approaches.
- Cellular mechanisms of petal organogenesis.
- Functional conservation and specification of important petal regulators in evolution.
- Evolutionary basis of variation in petal morphology, both from genetic and morphological perspectives.
We invite submissions of Original Research, Review, Mini Review, and Opinion manuscripts related to the above topics. In particular, we welcome the articles that combine molecular genetic approaches with other cutting-edge techniques, such as high-resolution imaging, mathematic modeling and biomechanical methods etc, for submission.
Keywords: Petal organogenesis, cell division and expansion, cell type specification, plant evolution
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