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Published August 1990 | metadata_only
Journal Article

Early flower development in Arabidopsis


The early development of the flower of Arabidopsis thaliana is described from initiation until the opening of the bud. The morphogenesis, growth rate, and surface structure of floral organs were recorded in detail using scanning electron microscopy. Flower development has been divided into 12 stages using a series of landmark events. Stage 1 begins with the initiation of a floral buttress on the flank of the apical meristem. Stage 2 commences when the flower primordium becomes separate from the meristem. Sepal primordia then arise (stage 3) and grow to overlie the primordium (stage 4). Petal and stamen primordia appear next (stage 5) and are soon enclosed by the sepals (stage 6). During stage 6, petal primordia grow slowly, whereas stamen primordia enlarge more rapidly. Stage 7 begins when the medial stamens become stalked. These soon develop locules (stage 8). A long stage 9 then commences with the petal primordia becoming stalked. During this stage all organs lengthen rapidly. This includes the gynoecium, which commences growth as an open-ended tube during stage 6. When the petals reach the length of the lateral stamens, stage 10 begins. Stigmatic papillae appear soon after (stage 11), and the petals rapidly reach the height of the medial stamens (stage 12). This final stage ends when the 1-millimeter-long bud opens. Under our growing conditions 1.9 buds were initiated per day on average, and they took 13.25 days to progress through the 12 stages from initiation until opening.

Additional Information

© 1990 American Society of Plant Biologists. Received May 16, 1990. We thank our fellow workers for discussions and interest and Pat Koen of the Electron Microscopy Facility at Caltech for technical advice. This study was assisted by National Science Foundation grant PCM-8703439 to E.M.M. J.L.B. is supported by training grant 5T32-GM07616 of the National Institutes of Health.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023