Much of the organismal variation we observe in nature is due to differences in organ size. The observation that even closely related species can show large, stably inherited differences in organ size indicates a strong genetic component to the control of organ size. Despite recent progress in identifying factors controlling organ growth in plants, our overall understanding of this process remains limited, partly because the individual factors have not yet been connected into larger regulatory pathways or networks. To begin addressing this aim, we have studied the upstream regulation of expression of BIG BROTHER (BB), a central growth-control gene in Arabidopsis thaliana that prevents overgrowth of organs. Final organ size and BB expression levels are tightly correlated, implying the need for precise control of its expression. BB expression mirrors proliferative activity, yet the gene functions to limit proliferation, suggesting that it acts in an incoherent feedforward loop downstream of growth activators to prevent over-proliferation.
Breuninger, H., & Lenhard, M. (2012). Expression of the central growth regulator BIG BROTHER is regulated by multiple cis-elements. BMC Plant Biology, 12. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2229-12-41