Hello! I was wondering how plants with split-leaves or holes in their leaves, such as the split-leaf Philodendron, develop these gaps. I was thinking it has to do with triggering apoptosis in certain locations.
However, I noticed that the leaves vary in the number of splits: some have 2 on the left and others have 2 or 3 on both sides. The rest have none (new leaves and old). This leads me to think it is not genetic; if it was, would they not all have the same splitting pattern? Or maybe it is similar to how human organs use apoptosis to develop their shapes even though the organs are different. This must be coded for in the genome, yes?
A side note: I have not seen any leaves in the process of splitting. The split is either complete or not there.
Does anyone know what causes the split, or why it does this? Even if you just have a hypothesis, I’d love to hear it.