Answer to Question #190788 in Biology for Anne-Marie Gort

Question #190788

Two students have compared the genome wide analyses of expression profiles in the leaves of maize and they found that the leaves of maize either do or do not develop Kranz anatomy. Please explain.

Expert's answer

Expression profiles are used to compare the levels of gene expression. Kranz anatomy is a structure observed in C4 plants where the mesophyll cells cluster around the bundle-sheath cell in a wreath formation. These structures are determined by the specific differentiation pattern of cells. Studies demonstrate that Kranz differentiation is determined by the expression cohorts of genes associated with procambium initiation and vascular patterning. The data indicate that Kranz anatomy is patterned, at least in part, by a SCARECROW/SHORT-ROOT regulatory network composed of transcription factors SCR and SHR. As a result, variable levels of gene expression are affected by these transcription factors depending on the leaf area.


Wang, P., Kelly, S., Fouracre, J. P., & Langdale, J. A. (2013). Genome-wide transcript analysis of early maize leaf development reveals gene cohorts associated with the differentiation of C4 Kranz anatomy. The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology75(4), 656–670.

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