• Richard N. Arteca


The transition from vegetative to reproductive development is clearly a very critical phase in the life cycle of higher plants. Although there has been a considerable amount of research on the physiological, biochemical, and molecular aspects of flowering, the actual mechanism by which the transition from vegetative to reproductive development occurs still remains unclear at the present time (Jordan 1993). Since there are many coordinated processes involved in reproductive development, background information for each of these stages will briefly be discussed prior to explaining the involvement of environmental factors and plant growth substances. The first stage is flower initiation which is an internal physiological change in the meristem which precedes any morphological change. The first noticeable morphological change indicating that a transition from vegetative to reproductive development is occurring is enhanced cell division in the central zone immediately below the apical part of the vegetative meristem. The divisions occurring here result in the differentiation of parenchyma cells which surround the meristem giving rise to flower primordia. The second stage is flower formation, the visible initiation of flower parts. The final stage is flower development which is the differentiation of the flower structure including events from flower formation to anthesis (flowering). Each of these stages like any other physiological process is determined by the genotype. However, in many species the start of reproductive development is regulated by environmental factors such as day length and temperature, which vary on a fairly regular basis throughout the year, and by a specific plant growth substance(s) or interactions between two or more. However, once again the response varies between species. In the following sections the involvement of environmental factors and plant growth substances on floral initiation will be discussed.


Female Flower Exogenous Application Reproductive Development Flower Formation Flower Initiation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard N. Arteca
    • 1
  1. 1.The Pennsylvania State UniversityUSA

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