Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 453–466 | Cite as

Plant Morphogenesis 123: a renaissance in modern botany?

  • Shu-Nong BaiEmail author


Plants are a group of multicellular organisms crucial for the biosphere on the Earth. In the 17th century, the founding fathers of modern botany viewed the bud as the basic unit undergoing the plant life cycle. However, for many understandable reasons, the dominant conceptual framework evolved away from the “bud-centered” viewpoint to a “plant-centered” viewpoint that treated the whole plant, consisting of numerous buds, as a unit and considered the entire plant to be the functional equivalent of an animal individual. While this “plant-centered” viewpoint is convenient and great progress has been made using this conceptual framework, some fundamental problems remain logically unsolvable. Previously, I have proposed a new conceptual framework for interpretation of plant morphogenesis, called Plant Morphogenesis 123, which revives a “bud-centered” viewpoint. The perspective of Plant Morphogenesis 123 allows us to address new questions regarding to the mechanisms of plant morphogenesis that are important, and technically accessible, but previously neglected under the “plant-centered” conceptual framework. In addition to describing these questions, I address a more fundamental question for further discussion: why do people study plants?


Plant Morphogenesis 123 bud-centered viewpoint developmental unit life cycle renaissance 


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I would like to sincerely thank Prof. Manyuan Long (Chicago University) for inviting me to write this article. This invitation gave me the opportunity to propose some new questions about plant morphogenesis which I feel are worthy of investigation.


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© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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