Leaf growth is conformal

Karen Alim, Shahaf Armon, Boris I. Shraiman, Arezki Boudaoud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Growth pattern dynamics lie at the heart of morphogenesis. Here, we investigate the growth of plant leaves. We compute the conformal transformation that maps the contour of a leaf at a given stage onto the contour of the same leaf at a later stage. Based on the mapping we predict the local displacement field in the leaf blade and find it to agree with the experimentally measured displacement field to 92%. This approach is applicable to any two-dimensional system with locally isotropic growth, enabling the deduction of the whole growth field just from observation of the tissue contour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number05LT01
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 6 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • conformal map
  • morphogenesis
  • plant development
  • tissue dynamics


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