Tiny but Complex Foliage Leaves Occur in Many “Leafless” Cacti (Cactaceae)

  title={Tiny but Complex Foliage Leaves Occur in Many “Leafless” Cacti (Cactaceae)},
  author={James D. Mauseth},
  journal={International Journal of Plant Sciences},
  pages={845 - 853}
  • J. Mauseth
  • Published 1 July 2007
  • Environmental Science
  • International Journal of Plant Sciences
Most cacti in subfamily Cactoideae have tiny foliage leaves (most less than 1.5 mm long) hidden by enlarged axillary buds (the spine clusters). Leaf development similar to that of Arabidopsis and other model plants occurs in six species that have a rudimentary lamina, mesophyll, vascular tissue, stomata, and dorsiventral asymmetry. In the other 141 species, mature foliage leaves are progressively simpler, as if development stops at different points during otherwise ordinary morphogenesis. In 21… 

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Explants on medium lacking hormones show no structural change, but by the tenth day are insensitive to BAP or NAA, and four types of lateral appendage can be produced: leaves, mildly altered leaves, leaf-spine transition forms, and spines.


mordia that will develop into spines is significantly higher (at the 5 % level) than the mitotic activity of the primordia that will develop into leaves. This is interpreted to indicate that the