Genetic And Hormonal Regulation Of Maize Inflorescence Development
B. E. Thompson
Published 2014 · Biology
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Abstract Plant development is determined by the activity of meristems, pools of undifferentiated cells that generate organs throughout the life of the plant. Inflorescence morphology is determined by the position and activity of meristems that form during reproductive development. Grass inflorescences are complex, highly branched structures that initiate higher order meristems before the floral meristems, which ultimately produce the floral organs. Maize produces two inflorescences: the tassel is formed at the apex of the plant and bears male flowers and the ear is formed in the axil of a leaf and bears female flowers. Despite their distinct morphologies at maturity, the tassel and ear arise from strikingly similar inflorescence primordia and their patterning depends largely on the same set of developmental regulators. Many of these developmental regulators have been identified through mutant analysis and cloning efforts, and include multiple transcription factors, microRNAs and plant hormones. This chapter focuses on the molecular mechanisms that regulate the maintenance, identity, and activity of meristems in maize inflorescences, as well as floral development and sex determination.
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