The epidermis of mature leaves consists of three different types of cells. Most cells differentiate into normal epidermal pavement cells. Additionally, trichomes and stomata are found non-randomly distributed on the surface. The establishment of such distribution patterns involves different kinds of cell-to-cell communication. While trichome patterning appears to be primarily mediated by the movement of transcription factors through plasmodesmata, stomatal patterning seems to involve receptor-ligand-based cellular communication. This review compares the mechanisms of the two patterning systems.

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