Mapping by VESGEN of Leaf Venation Patterning in Arabidopsis with Bioinformatic Dimensions of Gene Expression
For an Arabidopsis juvenile leaf flown on NASA Space Shuttle Mission (STS)-130, the venation patterning of larger structural vessel orders 1°-2° remained relatively constant compared to normal gravity (by vessel number density Nv, 1.24E-5/micron2 and 1.29E-5/micron2, respectively). However, as a measure of increased venation maturity, Nv of smaller reticulate orders ≥ 3° increased considerably from 7.7E-6/micron2 in ground control to 1.74E-5/micron2 in the STS-130 leaf. Vascular geometric complexity associated with growth-dependent gene expression increased during normal terrestrial maturation of an adult Arabidopsis leaf. We therefore propose that the genetically regulated response of Arabidopsis and other plants to microgravity environments be assessed by VESGEN mappings of leaf venation pattern.
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