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Morphomechanical Innovation Drives Explosive Seed Dispersal

Hofhuis, H; Moulton, D; Lessinnes, T; Routier-Kierzkowska, A-L; Bomphrey, RJ; Mosca, G; Reinhardt, H; ... Hay, A; + view all (2016) Morphomechanical Innovation Drives Explosive Seed Dispersal. CELL , 166 (1) pp. 222-233. 10.1016/j.cell.2016.05.002. Green open access

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Abstract

How mechanical and biological processes are coordinated across cells, tissues, and organs to produce complex traits is a key question in biology. Cardamine hirsuta, a relative of Arabidopsis thaliana, uses an explosive mechanism to disperse its seeds. We show that this trait evolved through morphomechanical innovations at different spatial scales. At the organ scale, tension within the fruit wall generates the elastic energy required for explosion. This tension is produced by differential contraction of fruit wall tissues through an active mechanism involving turgor pressure, cell geometry, and wall properties of the epidermis. Explosive release of this tension is controlled at the cellular scale by asymmetric lignin deposition within endocarp b cells—a striking pattern that is strictly associated with explosive pod shatter across the Brassicaceae plant family. By bridging these different scales, we present an integrated mechanism for explosive seed dispersal that links evolutionary novelty with complex trait innovation.

Type: Article
Title: Morphomechanical Innovation Drives Explosive Seed Dispersal
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.05.002
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2016.05.002
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, RELATIVE CARDAMINE-HIRSUTA, TOPOISOMERASE-VI COMPLEX, ARABIDOPSIS-THALIANA, MECHANICAL-PROPERTIES, CATAPULT, CELLS, FRUIT, ENDOREDUPLICATION, VISUALIZATION, MICROTUBULES
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1499878
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