|Phyllotaxis in tomato plants|
In the Haag-Streit laboratory, we investigate the mechanisms leading to the leaf pattern of tomatoes. This research is done in close collaboration with the Institute for Plant Science at the University of Bern.
It is still debated whether the leaf patterning is simply governed by the positions of the older leafs or is rather predetermined in the plant in general. On the Nikon microscope we visualize the tomato saplings using confocal laser scanning microscopy and use the near-infrared ultrashort pulse laser to kill cells inside the tomato sapling in their early development stage to block specific signaling pathways. This hinders or completely shuts off the flow of the plant hormone auxin that is known to cause organ formation in plants. We then follow the further development of the plant and investigate the influence of this and other plant signals on the leaf pattern and the leaf development.