The formation of a leaf is a basic aspect of plant development. This review provides an overview of our present understanding of the process from initiation to the final form of the leaf. Molecular genetic and cell biology approaches have yielded significant advances in this area, adding not only to our knowledge of leaf development but also to fundamental principles in plant biology. These principles will be highlighted, as well as areas where our understanding is still incomplete, in particular the problem of coordinating the multifaceted steps involved in the generation of the leaf structure. © New Phytologist (2004).
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