What could the natural diversity and beauty of plant leaves have in common with the violin, one of mankind's greatest musical inventions? More than you think.
Dan Chitwood, Ph.D., assistant member, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri
spends most of his time exploring genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying diversity in plant morphology - how leaf shapes are formed and what that means for a plant to grow and thrive. He also studies how leaf shapes change as plant species evolve to adapt in different environments. Research into why a desert-adapted tomato species can survive with little water, for example, sheds light on how leaf architecture affects the efficiency of plant water use.