3D Carnivorous Plants

Prominent molecular biologist Enrico Coen has discovered multiple classes of regulatory genes that are vital to the evolution anddevelopment of flowers. His research team—based at the John Innes Centre in England—is also investigating genes that produceplant leaves of specific sizes and shapes. To that end, Karen Lee, a researcher in Coen’s lab, is ramping up studies of carnivorousplants. Lee uses optical projection tomography (OPT), a relatively new type of microscopy, to get a better look at their growth andshape. Created to study gene expression in mouse embryos, OPT provides three-dimensional views of developing plants unavailablefrom any other technology, Lee told American Scientist contributing editor Catherine Clabby.