NCSU scientists discover how cotton plants determine leaf shape

by Dee Shore, NC State University

Any child who has assembled a leaf collection can prove that plants come with an astounding array of leaf shapes, and researchers know that this variation can mean big differences in a farmer’s bottom line. Now, a new discovery gives plant breeders key genetic information they need to develop crop varieties that make the most of these leaf-shape differences.

In a paper published Dec. 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, NC State researchers and colleagues from the Danforth Plant Science Center, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Cotton Incorporated describe how they used genomic and molecular tools to find the location of the DNA sequence that determines major leaf shapes in upland cotton. Continue reading