Preprint Concept Paper Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Phyllotaxis Turns over a New Leaf – A Review

Version 1 : Received: 27 November 2019 / Approved: 29 November 2019 / Online: 29 November 2019 (08:22:04 CET)

How to cite: Lamport, D.T.; Tan, L.; Held, M.; Kieliszewski, M. Phyllotaxis Turns over a New Leaf – A Review . Preprints 2019, 2019110372. Lamport, D.T.; Tan, L.; Held, M.; Kieliszewski, M. Phyllotaxis Turns over a New Leaf – A Review . Preprints 2019, 2019110372.


Sixty years ago in the lab adjacent to Fred Sanger (1958 Nobel Prize for protein chemistry), I discovered the cell surface hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins. Nature keeps some of her secrets longer than others. It has taken many years to dissect the molecular function and biological role of extensins and arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs). Extensins template the formation of new cell walls. AGPs remained baffling and enigmatic until a Eureka moment when computer prediction of AGP calcium binding depicted paired glucuronic acid residues and thus the likely role of a cell surface AGP-Ca2+capacitor: In conjunction with the auxin-activated proton pump that releases bound Ca2+ it led us to formulate the Hechtian Growth Oscillator as A Global Paradigm with a pivotal role in Ca2+ homeostasis. The ramifications are profound. They cannot be shrugged off with sceptical disdain but demand critical reappraisal of current dogma. Phyllotaxis is an ancient problem; it involves an essential role for auxin and the auxin efflux “PIN” proteins together with mechanotransduction of stress-strain as phyllotactic determinants. However, a general explanation remains elusive despite much effort, particularly by mathematicians. Here we propose a novel biochemical algorithm: Hechtian oscillator transduction of cell wall stress generates phyllotactic patterns quite independent of a mathematical approach. Plants simply use different rules and follow a different route.


arabinogalactan proteins; phyllotaxis; Hechtian Oscillator; calcium homeostasis; auxin


Biology and Life Sciences, Plant Sciences

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