The leaves of most plants are flat, facilitating the efficient capture of sunlight for photosynthesis. Leaf curvature is expressed in terms of Gaussian curvature — "the product of curvature in orthogonal direction". Coordinating the growth of central and marginal regions of a leaf to produce a flat surface, or zero Gaussian curvature, is more "difficult" that the generation of a curved leaf. There are many more confirmations that adopt either negative or positive Gaussian curvature. In the February 28 Science, Utpal Nath and colleagues at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK, show that the transcription factor CINCINNATA (CIN) — a member of the class II TCP protein family — modifies the distribution of differentiating cells in the snap dragon Antirrhinum majus. This distribution is crucial for both the shape and curvature of the leaf (Science, 299:1404-1407, February 28, 2003).

Nath et al. isolated a CIN...

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