Journal Article

Regulation of floral initiation in horticultural trees

John D. Wilkie, Margaret Sedgley and Trevor Olesen

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 12, pages 3215-3228
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:
Regulation of floral initiation in horticultural trees

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The intention of this review is to discuss floral initiation of horticultural trees. Floral initiation is best understood for herbaceous species, especially at the molecular level, so a brief overview of the control of floral initiation of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh.) precedes the discussion of trees. Four major pathways to flowering have been characterized in Arabidopsis, including environmental induction through photoperiod and temperature, autonomous floral initiation, and regulation by gibberellins. Tropical trees are generally induced to flower through environmental cues, whereas floral initiation of temperate deciduous trees is often autonomous. In the tropical evergreen tree mango, Mangifera indica L., cool temperature is the only factor known to induce flowering, but does not ensure floral initiation will occur because there are important interactions with vegetative growth. The temperate deciduous tree apple, Malus domestica Borkh., flowers autonomously, with floral initiation dependent on aspects of vegetative development in the growing season before anthesis, although with respect to the floral initiation of trees in general: the effect of the environment, interactions with vegetative growth, the roles of plant growth regulators and carbohydrates, and recent advances in molecular biology, are discussed.

Keywords: Apple; Arabidopsis; floral induction; floral initiation; mango; trees

Journal Article.  9345 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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