About this Research Topic
Plant development is characterized by morphogenesis of roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds. This process, regulated by genetic and epigenetic factors, includes the determination, initiation, differentiation, and development of different types of primordia on shoot/root apical meristems/auxiliary meristems, and involves the establishment of cell and tissue polarity, cell division and differentiation, phase transition, and hormone responses. Plant organs including leaf, stem, root, flower, and fruits function in water and mineral absorption, transportation, photosynthesis, pollination, fertilization, and other physiological functions. Horticultural crops and to a minor extent agricultural crops often display enlarged organs that are the consumed products: leafy heads, bulbs, tubers, fleshy stems, corms, fleshy roots, root tubers, curds, and fleshy fruits. Unlike the grains of rice, wheat, and corn that mainly provide starch, these modified organs store vitamins, secondary metabolites, minerals, and dietary fiber that are important for human health. Size, shape, surface features, and texture of the modified organs determine the commercial quality of crops. Understanding of how these plant organs were selected for during domestication and how they are modified to become the edible parts of horticultural crops will impact both agriculture and fundamental plant biology. Recently, genetic and molecular approaches have been used to address the key scientific issues and research directions relating to morphological modification and much progress has been made. For examples, several miRNAs have been shown to play essential roles in determination of size, shape and timing of leafy heads.
This Research Topic mainly focus on investigating the molecular basis of morphological modification of plant organs in crops. We welcome the submission of Original Research and Review articles.
Key areas that we will cover include:
- Dynamic phenotyping of the modified organs: leafy head, bulb, tuber, fleshy stem, corm, fleshy root, root tuber, curd, and fleshy fruit during plant development
- Genetic variation of modified organs
- Functional analysis of genes controlling size, shape, weight, texture, color and flavor of the modified organs
- Regulation of non-coding RNAs controlling morphological modification
- Effects of abiotic stress on gene function in morphological modification, and hypotheses about molecular mechanism underlying metamorphosis of plant organs
Keywords: Leaf, Stem, Root, Flower, Morphological Modification, Fruit