Document Type



Leaves are the major organ for photosynthesis in most land plants, and leaf structure is optimized for the maximum capture of sunlight and gas exchange. Three polarity axes, the adaxial–abaxial axis, the proximal-distal axis, and the medial-lateral axis are established during leaf development to give rise to a flattened lamina with a large area for photosynthesis and blades that are extended on petioles for maximum sunlight. Adaxial cells are elongated, tightly packed cells with many chloroplasts, and their fate is specified by HD-ZIP III and related factors. Abaxial cells are rounder and loosely packed cells and their fate is established and maintained by YABBY family and KANADI family proteins. The activities of adaxial and abaxial regulators are coordinated by ASYMMETRIC LEAVES2 and auxin. Establishment of the proximodistal axis involves the BTB/POZ domain proteins BLADE-ON-PETIOLE1 and 2, whereas homeobox genes PRESSED FLOWER and WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX1 mediate leaf development along the mediolateral axis. This review summarizes recent advances in leaf polarity establishment with a focus on the regulatory networks involved.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

APA Citation

Manuela, D., & Xu, M. (2020). Patterning a Leaf by Establishing Polarities. Frontiers in Plant Science, 11.