MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library

    Evolution of flowers and inflorescences

    Coen, Enrico S. and Nugent, Jacqueline M. (1994) Evolution of flowers and inflorescences. Development, Suppl.. pp. 107-116. ISSN 0950-1991

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    Plant development depends on the activity of meristems which continually reiterate a common plan. Permutations around this plan can give rise to a wide range of morphologies. To understand the mechanisms underlying this variation, the effects of parallel mutations in key developmental genes are being studied in different species. In Antirrhinum, three of these key genes are: (l)floricaula ffio) a gene required for the production of flowers (2) centror&- dialis (cen), a gene controlling flower position (3) cycloidea (cyc), a gene controlling flower symmetry. Several plant species, exhibiting a range of inflorescence types and floral symmetries are being analysed in detail. Comparative genetic and molecular analysis shows that inflorescence architecture depends on two underlying parameters: a basic inflorescence branching pattern and the positioning of flowers. Theflo and cen genes play a key role in the positioning of flowers, and variation in the site and timing of expression of these genes, may account for many of the different inflorescence types. The evolution of inflorescence stiucture may also have influenced the evolution of floral asymmetry, as illustrated by the cen mutation which changes both inflorescence type and the symmetry of some flowers. Conflicting theories about the origins of irregular flowers and how they have coevolved with inflorescence architecture can be directly assessed by examining the role of cyc- and cen-like genes in species displaying various floral symmetries and inflorescence types.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Antirrhinum; Arabidopsis; symmetry;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Biology
    Item ID: 7413
    Depositing User: Dr. Jacqueline Nugent
    Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2016 15:12
    Journal or Publication Title: Development
    Publisher: Compnay of Biologists
    Refereed: Yes
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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