Cuticle chemistry drives the development of diffraction gratings on the surface of Hibiscus trionum petals
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-15, 15:48 authored by Edwige Moyroud, Chiara A Airoldi, Jordan Ferria, Chiara Giorio, Sarah S Steimer, Paula J Rudall, Christina J Prychid, Shannon Halliwell, Joseph F Walker, Sarah Robinson, Markus Kalberer, Beverley J Glover
Plants combine both chemical and structural means to appear colorful. We now have an extensive understanding of the metabolic pathways used by flowering plants to synthesize pigments, but the mechanisms remain obscure whereby cells produce microscopic structures sufficiently regular to interfere with light and create an optical effect. Here, we combine transgenic approaches in a novel model system, Hibiscus trionum, with chemical analyses of the cuticle, both in transgenic lines and in different species of Hibiscus, to investigate the formation of a semi-ordered diffraction grating on the petal surface. We show that regulating both cuticle production and epidermal cell growth is insufficient to determine the type of cuticular pattern produced. Instead, the chemical composition of the cuticle plays a crucial role in restricting the formation of diffraction gratings to the pigmented region of the petal. This suggests that buckling, driven by spatiotemporal regulation of cuticle chemistry, could pattern the petal surface at the nanoscale.
CitationMoyroud, E., Airoldi, C. A., Ferria, J., Giorio, C., Steimer, S. S., Rudall, P. J., Prychid, C. J., Halliwell, S., Walker, J. F., Robinson, S., Kalberer, M.Glover, B. J. (2022). Cuticle chemistry drives the development of diffraction gratings on the surface of Hibiscus trionum petals. Current Biology, 32(24), 5323-5334.e6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.10.065
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31 Biological Sciences32 Biomedical and Clinical Sciences52 Psychology1.1 Normal biological development and functioning1 Underpinning researchFlowersHibiscusModels, Biologicalcuticle patterningdiffraction gratingsmechanical bucklingpetal developmentplant epidermisstructural colorDevelopmental Biology31 Biological sciences32 Biomedical and clinical sciencesBiological SciencesMedical and Health SciencesPsychology and Cognitive Sciences