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  • Photos of flowers from plants of diverse orders with a simplified phylogeny above, sketching their relationships. From left to right: Nymphaea colorata (water lily, basal angiosperms); Lilium marthagon (lily, monocot); Triticum aestivum (bread wheat, monocot); Meconopsis horridula (prickly blue poppy, basal eudicot); Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon, fabid); Rosa sp. (rose, malvid)

    Tinkering with transcription factor networks for developmental robustness of Ranunculales flowers

    Species within the Ranunculales bear flowers of formidable variation; for example, one can find novel floral organs and loss of floral organs, zygomorphic and radially symmetric flowers, and variation in floral organ number. Becker reviews recent developments on the molecular aspects of Ranunculales flower development, focusing especially on aspects not found in Brassicaceae development, such […] More

  • Proposed scenario as to how the interplay between evolutionary innovations, developmental robustness and ecological opportunities contributes to the origin of species diversity

    The significance of developmental robustness for species diversity

    Why some taxa are more species-rich than others still represents a major conundrum in biology. Ecological opportunities and evolutionary innovations are considered main factors that drive biodiversity, but are sometimes insufficient to explain current patterns of species richness. In their viewpoint article, Melzer and Theißen argue that developmental robustness might be an underappreciated factor promoting […] More

  • Phyllotaxis in arabidopsis cuc2 cuc3 double mutants

    Phyllotaxis in arabidopsis cuc2 cuc3 double mutants

    In the cuc2 cuc3 double mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana the regular spiral Fibonacci phyllotaxis is disrupted and flower pedicels are fused to the inflorescence stem in the mature shoot regions. Burian et al. investigate phyllotaxis and geometry of shoot apices, and growth of the young stem surface, and show that CUC2 and CUC3 genes are […] More

  • Temperature and reproductive success in arabidopsis

    Temperature and reproductive success in arabidopsis

    Seed yield and dormancy status are key components of species fitness that are influenced by the maternal environment. Huang et al. grow the Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Burren (Bur), which is adapted to a cool, damp climate, under conditions normally experienced by the Cape Verdi Isle (Cvi) ecotype, which is adapted to a hot, dry climate. They […] More

  • Male (left) and female (right) flowers of Amborella trichopoda,

    Flower Development: a Special Issue of Annals of Botany

    In the early 1990s, genetic studies performed in parallel in the distantly related eudicot species Arabidopsis thaliana and Antirrhinum majus led to the unifying and now widely known “ABC model” for the definition of the main floral organ types – sepals, petals, stamens and carpels – that form in the four concentric whorls of a […] More

  • The beach on the French Cote d’Azur

    Flowering around the Med

    The latest in a series of two-yearly workshops on Molecular Mechanisms Controlling Flower Development was held this June on the Giens Peninsula of the French Cote d’Azur. This workshop, which was generously supported by Annals of Botany, brought together around 130 fans of flower development from Europe and around the world, with delegates travelling from […] More

  • Epigenetic floral variant of clonal oil palm (Review)

    Epigenetic floral variant of clonal oil palm (Review)

    The mantled somaclonal variation of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) hampers oil production as the supernumerary female organs are either sterile or produce fruits with poor oil yields. Jaligot et al. provide an overview of research focusing on this intriguing floral phenotype, which also provides a unique opportunity to investigate epigenetic regulation of reproductive development in palms. […] More

  • Number and position of floral organs in Arabidopsis

    Number and position of floral organs in Arabidopsis

    Information regarding polymorphism of floral structure is important for understanding the genetic and evolutionary mechanisms of flower development. Penin and Logacheva conduct a wide survey of the variations in number and position of floral organs in Arabidopsis thaliana, including both wild type and mutants with altered floral structure. They find that the organs located in […] More