Plant Stem Cell Regulation and Floral Patterning


NAIST: Home to Leading Researchers of Flower Development

We are studying flower development using Arabidopsis and rice plant models. Flowers are used to decorate homes and offices, but from a botanical perspective, they are the reproductive organs of seed plants that produce crops and fruits. During the process of flower development, the balance between floral stem cell proliferation and differentiation shifts dynamically towards organogenesis. This characteristic makes flowers an excellent model for developmental research (Figure 1). We hope that our molecular genetic research on flower development will have a far-reaching impact that will even attract interest from researchers in animal genetics.

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Arabidopsis flower development and mutants with extra petals.

Figure 1. Arabidopsis flower development and mutants with extra petals.
Plant meristems harbor self-renewing pluripotent stem cells. In the floral meristem, however, stem cell activities terminate during flower development (floral determinacy).The ag mutant shows over-proliferation of floral meristems, resulting in double-flower phenotypes.