## AbstractThe {\sc Directed Maximum Leaf Out-Branching} problem is to find an out-branching (i.e. a rooted oriented spanning tree) in a given digraph with the maximum number of leaves. In this paper, we improve known parameterized algorithms and combinatorial bounds on the number of leaves in out-branchings. We show that \smallskip \begin{itemize} \item every strongly connected digraph $D$ of order $n$ with minimum in-degree at least 3 has an out-branching with at least $(n/4)^{1/3}-1$ leaves; \item if a strongly connected digraph $D$ does not contain an out-branching with $k$ leaves, then the pathwidth of its underlying graph is $O(k\log k)$; \item it can be decided in time $2^{O(k\log^2 k)}\cdot n^{O(1)}$ whether a strongly connected digraph on $n$ vertices has an out-branching with at least $k$ leaves. \end{itemize}
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