Leaf shape in cotton is regulated by the developmental age of the shoot and by several major genes that affect leaf lobing. The effect of these factors was investigated by allometric analysis, cell lineage analysis, and by studying the expression of the leaf shape mutation, Okra, in genetic mosaics. Allometric analysis of leaf growth suggests that leaf shape is determined during the initiation of the primordium rather than during the expansion phase of leaf growth. Clonal analysis demonstrates that both the rate and duration of cell division are fairly uniform throughout the leaf. Cells in the marginal region of the developing cotton leaf contribute more to the growth of the lamina than they do in tobacco. The Okra mutation acts early in the development of a leaf and appears to accentuate a developmental pattern that is also responsible for heteroblastic variation in leaf shape. The expression of this mutation in genetic mosaics demonstrates that its effect does not diffuse laterally within the leaf primordium.

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