A Theoretical Model of Jigsaw-Puzzle Pattern Formation by Plant Leaf Epidermal Cells

Takumi Higaki, Natsumaro Kutsuna, Kae Akita, Hisako Takigawa-Imamura, Kenji Yoshimura, Takashi Miura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Plant leaf epidermal cells exhibit a jigsaw puzzle–like pattern that is generated by interdigitation of the cell wall during leaf development. The contribution of two ROP GTPases, ROP2 and ROP6, to the cytoskeletal dynamics that regulate epidermal cell wall interdigitation has already been examined; however, how interactions between these molecules result in pattern formation remains to be elucidated. Here, we propose a simple interface equation model that incorporates both the cell wall remodeling activity of ROP GTPases and the diffusible signaling molecules by which they are regulated. This model successfully reproduces pattern formation observed in vivo, and explains the counterintuitive experimental results of decreased cellulose production and increased thickness. Our model also reproduces the dynamics of three-way cell wall junctions. Therefore, this model provides a possible mechanism for cell wall interdigitation formation in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1004833
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Ecology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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