Early flower development in Arabidopsis

David R. Smyth, John L. Bowman, Elliot M. Meyerowitz

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The early development of the flower of Arabidopsis thaliana is described from initiation until the opening of the bud. The morphogenesis, growth rate, and surface structure of floral organs were recorded in detail using scanning electron microscopy. Flower development has been divided into 12 stages using a series of landmark events. Stage 1 begins with the initiation of a floral buttress on the flank of the apical meristem. Stage 2 commences when the flower primordium becomes separate from the meristem. Sepal primordia then arise (stage 3) and grow to overlie the primordium (stage 4). Petal and stamen primordia appear next (stage 5) and are soon enclosed by the sepals (stage 6). During stage 6, petal primordia grow slowly, whereas stamen primordia enlarge more rapidly. Stage 7 begins when the medial stamens become stalked. These soon develop locules (stage 8). A long stage 9 then commences with the petal primordia becoming stalked. During this stage all organs lengthen rapidly. This includes the gynoecium, which commences growth as an open-ended tube during stage 6. When the petals reach the length of the lateral stamens, stage 10 begins. Stigmatic papillae appear soon after (stage 11), and the petals rapidly reach the height of the medial stamens (stage 12). This final stage ends when the 1-millimeter-long bud opens. Under our growing conditions 1.9 buds were initiated per day on average, and they took 13.25 days to progress through the 12 stages from initiation until opening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-767
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1990

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