In all model organisms, the molecular genetic dissection of developmental pathways and the analysis of mutant phenotypes heavily depend on the availability of easily identifiable markers, especially for the study of internal tissues, such as the vascular, which are not readily visible from the surface of the organs.
In order to increase the power of resolution of vascular analysis, I identified and characterized the earliest vascular reporter gene expression markers currently available in the Arabidopsis leaf. The expression profiles of these markers revealed a common spatio-temporal pattern in the formation of veins of all orders. Furthermore, these markers in combination with novel experimental procedures to manipulate vascular patterns demonstrated that Arabidopsis vein pattern is not inherently determinate, but arises through reiterative initiation of early vascular branches until this process becomes terminated by negative interference of mesophyll differentiation. This work has been recently submitted for publication (Scarpella et al., submitted, DEV 1227E.
The aims of my present lines of research are to enhance the analytical resolution of vascular research and increase the genetic basis of vascular patterning (see enclosed “Summary of Research Plans”)