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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: June 2012

Chapter 17 - The leaf

Summary

Perspective: evolution of the leaf

All vascular plants except their most primitive ancestors are characterized by leaves (see Chapter 1). As the primary photosynthetic organs, leaves are of great significance not only to the plant but also to many other organisms, including humans, that rely on plants as a source of food. Botanists interested in plant evolution believe that leaves evolved in at least two ways, and in possibly five independent lines in vascular plants (see Niklas, 1997). The leaves of lycophytes are considered enations because they are thought to have evolved as simple outgrowths from stems. These leaves, often referred to as microphylls, are commonly small although those of some extinct taxa attained great lengths (up to 1 meter in some members of the Lepidodendrales). Like all microphylls, however, they were vascularized by only a single midvein. In seed plants and ferns (possibly also in sphenophytes) leaves are thought to represent evolutionarily modified lateral branch systems. This hypothesis (the telome hypothesis) is based on the fact that the earliest seed plant ancestors were leafless, but bore small lateral branch systems. The fossil evidence indicates that over time, three-dimensional branch systems became flattened and subsequently laminate. Seed plant leaves which, on average, are much larger, and much more complex than those of lycophytes in both gross morphology and internal structure, are often referred to as megaphylls. For more detailed discussions of the evolution of leaves see Steward and Rothwell (1993) and Taylor and Taylor (1993).

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FURTHER READING
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The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Black, C. C. and Mollenhauer, H. H.. 1971. Structure and distribution of chloroplasts and other organelles in leaves with various rates of photosynthesis. Plant Physiol. 47: 15–23.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Brown, W. V. 1958. Leaf anatomy in grass systematics. Bot. Gaz. 119: 170–178.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Campbell, R. 1972. Electron microsopy of the development of needles of Pinus nigra var. maritima. Ann. Bot. 36: 711–720.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Cronshaw, J., Lucas, W. J., and Giaquinta, R. T. (eds.) Phloem Transport. New York, NY: Alan R. Liss.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Cross, G. L. 1940. Development of the foliage leaves of Taxodium distichum. Am. J. Bot. 27: 471–482.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Cross, G. L. 1942. Structure of the apical meristem and development of the foliage leaves of Cunninghamia lanceolata. Am. J. Bot. 29: 288–301.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.DeMason, D. A. and Villani, P. J.. 2001. Genetic control of leaf development in Pea (Pisum sativum). Int. J. Plant Sci. 162: 493–511.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Edwards, G. and Walker, D.. 1983. C3, C4: Mechanisms, and Cellular Environmental Regulation, of Photosynthesis. Oxford: Blackwell.
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The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Esau, K. 1965. Vascular Differentiation in Plants. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
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The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Foster, A. S. 1936. Leaf differentiation in angiosperms. Bot. Rev. 2: 349–372.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Foster, A. S. 1952. Foliar venation in angiosperms from an ontogenetic standpoint. Am. J. Bot. 39: 752–766.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Franck, D. H. 1979. Development of vein pattern in leaves of Ostrya virginiana (Betulaceae). Bot. Gaz. 140: 77–83.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Gambles, R. L. and Dengler, R. E.. 1982a. The anatomy of the leaf of red pine, Pinus resinosa. I. Nonvascular tissues. Can. J. Bot. 60: 2788–2803.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Gambles, R. L. and Dengler, R. E.. 1982b. The anatomy of the leaf of red pine, Pinus resinosa. II. Vascular tissues. Can. J. Bot. 60: 2804–2824.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Ghouse, A. K. M. and Yunus, M.. 1974. Transfusion tissue in the leaves of Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lambert) Hooker (Taxodiaceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 69: 147–151.
The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Griffith, M. M. 1957. Foliar ontogeny in Podocarpus macrophyllus, with special reference to the transfusion tissue. Am. J. Bot. 44: 705–715.
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The diploid (2n) cell that results from the fusion of male and female gametes.Harris, W. M. 1971. Ultrastructural observations on the mesophyll cells of pine leaves. Can. J. Bot. 49: 1107–1109.
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