Boundary domains delimit and organize organ growth throughout plant development almost relentlessly, building plant architecture and morphogenesis. Boundary domains display reduced growth and orchestrate development of adjacent tissues in a non-cell-autonomous manner. How these two functions are achieved remains elusive despite the identification of several boundary-specific genes. Here, we show using morphometrics at the organ and cellular levels that leaf boundary domain development requires SPINDLY (SPY), an O-fucosyltransferase, to act as cell growth repressor. Furthermore, we show that SPY acts redundantly with the CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON transcription factors (CUC2 and CUC3), which are major determinants of boundaries development. Accordingly, at the molecular level CUC2 and SPY repress a common set of genes involved in cell wall loosening, providing a molecular framework for the growth repression associated with boundary domains. Atomic force microscopy confirmed that young leaf boundary domain cells have stiffer cell walls than marginal outgrowth. This differential cell wall stiffness was reduced in spy mutant plants. Taken together, our data reveal a concealed CUC2 cell wall-associated gene network linking tissue patterning with cell growth and mechanics.

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