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molecular and computational analysis of the leaf margin (molCALM)
Start date: 01 Jun 2009, End date: 31 May 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The question of how the shape and size multicellular organs is controlled is a basic question in biology. In plants, recent work from the Fleming lab has indicated that cells around the periphery of the organ (the margin cells) play a special role in influencing leaf size and shape. The peculiar shape of these cells raises the possibility that they play a mechanical role in constraining leaf size and shape. The aim of this project is to further investigate the function of cells at the leaf margin in controlling leaf size and shape and, in particular, to investigate the potential biomechanical function of these cells. The project will require expertise in specific areas of molecular biology (which I already have) and expertise in the quantitative analysis of organ size and shape (involving computational approaches) which I will learn in the host lab. The scientific output of the proposed research will be insight into a basic aspect of developmental biology, particularly the emerging area of molecular biology and mechanics.
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