MEC DGICYT PB91-0749, 1992-1994

Principal Investigator: José Luis Micol.
Investigators: José Serrano Cartagena and Genoveva Berná Amorós.
División de Genética. Universidad de Alicante.

Molecular genetics of morphogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana

Much of the development of flowering plants depends on meristems, the groups of dividing cells that are the source of new plant structures. The time and place of the formation of new meristems and organs, and their type, determine the growth and form of the plant. Recent isolation of new mutations and cloning of new genes, most of them related with flower morphogenesis, have revealed some of the processes that regulate meristem activity. In spite of this, one of the main questions yet to be answered in plant developmental biology is, what are the mechanisms by which meristematic cells in the primordium sense and interpret their position with respect to other cells and differentiate reproducibly and precisely into the correct organs?

In this project, we will use Arabidopsis thaliana as an experimental system for the study of leaf development by means of the analysis of morphogenetic mutants affecting leaf size, shape and organ identity. Our objectives are (a) to isolate and characterize new mutants, (b) to perform the genetic analysis of their interactions trying to ellaborate a genetic model for leaf growth, development and pattern formation, and (c) to undergo the molecular analysis of some of the mutants, to contribute to elucidation of the molecular mechanisms that underlie plant developmental processes.