Key developmental transitions during flower morphogenesis and their regulation


Wagner, D. 2017. Key developmental transitions during flower morphogenesis and their regulation. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, 45, 44-50.


The arrangement of flowers on flowering stems called inflorescences contributes to the beauty of the natural world and enhances seed yield, impacting species survival and human sustenance. During the reproductive phase, annual/monocarpic plants like Arabidopsis and most crops form two types of lateral structures: indeterminate lateral inflorescences and determinate flowers. Their stereotypical arrangement on the primary inflorescence stem determines the species-specific inflorescence architecture. This architecture can be modulated in response to environmental cues to enhance reproductive success. Early botanists already appreciated that flowers and lateral inflorescences are analogous structures that are interconvertible. Here I will discuss the molecular underpinnings of these observations and explore the regulatory logic of the developmental fate transitions that lead to the formation of a flower.



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