Plant Mol Biol (2006) 62:483 DOI 10.1007/s11103-006-9053-7 LETTER T O T HE EDIT OR Tom Bennett Æ Ottoline Leyser Received: 7 July 2006 / Accepted: 7 July 2006 / Published online: 29 August 2006 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006 Professor Tomescu quite rightly reprimands us for our example, aspects of the molecular mechanisms regu- sloppy use of the word ‘‘plants’’ when we mean ‘‘an- lating leaf formation in the angiosperms have recently giosperms’’. We, along with countless others, are cer- been shown to operate in the lycophytes (Harrison tainly guilty as charged. However, we disagree that this et al. 2005). Widening and deepening of mechanistic faux pas is caused by the ‘‘reductionist paradigm’’, but understanding in plant biology will always be reduc- instead by the historical focus of much of plant devel- tionist because it necessarily depends on extrapolation from models, albeit a wider range of models. It is this opmental genetics and physiology on angiosperms, because of their direct immediate importance to man. increased understanding of mechanisms across the What we have done is equivalent to what biomedical kingdom that will drive accurate use of taxonomic scientists do when they say ‘‘animal’’ and mean ‘‘ver- nomenclature to ensure clarity is not compromised. As tebrate’’. It’s not accurate, but it’s not particularly with many nomenclature issues, we suspect that it will confusing either. There is no sense in which we are be journal referees and editorial board members who assuming or suggesting that what we say is true for all direct the pace of the transition. plants. This sloppy convention is set to change. The Reference increasing understanding of developmental mecha- nisms in a few model angiosperms, coupled with the Harrison J, Corley SB, Moylan EC, Alexander DL, Scotland adoption of model species representative of wider taxa, RW, Langdale JA (2005) Independent recruitment of a is fuelling a boom in comparative studies aimed at conserved developmental mechanism during leaf evolution. understanding the evolution of development. For Nature 434:509–514 T. Bennett Æ O. Leyser (&) Department of Biology, University of York, YO10 5YW York, UK e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 29, 2006
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