A distributive ‘50% rule’ determines floral initiation rates in the Brassicaceae

Abstract

The spatio-temporal production of flowers is key to determining reproductive fitness in most flowering plants and yield in many crop species, but the mechanisms regulating this ‘reproductive architecture’ are poorly characterized. Here, we show that in members of the Brassicaceae, total flower number is largely independent of inflorescence number and that the proportion of flowers initiated on the secondary inflorescences represents ~50% of total floral production, irrespective of secondary inflorescence number. This ‘50% rule’ acts as a coordinating principle for reproductive development in Brassicaceae, and similar principles may operate in other species. Our findings suggest that inflorescences continue to compete with each other for a fixed pool of meristematic potential after their activation.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Flower number is regulated independently of inflorescence number in Arabidopsis.
Fig. 2: A conserved floral distribution mechanism regulates floral initiation across the Brassicaceae and beyond.

Data availability

All data associated with this study are presented in the figures. Data are available on request without restriction from the corresponding author.

References

  1. 1.

    Domagalska, M. A. & Leyser, O. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 12, 211–221 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Walker, C. H. & Bennett, T. Annu. Plant Rev. Online 1, 1–38 (2018).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Seale, M., Bennett, T. & Leyser, O. Development 144, 1661–1673 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Prusinkiewicz, P. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 106, 17431–17436 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Shinohara, N., Taylor, C. & Leyser, O. PLoS Biol. 11, e1001474 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Bennett, T., Hines, G. & Leyser, O. Trends Genet. 30, 41–48 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Aguilar-Martínez, J. A., Poza-Carrión, C. & Cubas, P. Plant Cell 19, 458–472 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Waters, M. T. et al. Development 139, 1285–1295 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Soundappan, I. et al. Plant Cell 11, 3143–3159 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Müller, D. et al. Plant J. 82, 874–886 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Waldie, T. & Leyser, O. Plant Physiol. 177, 803–818 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Feng, S. et al. Nature 451, 475–479 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Koornneef, M. et al. Physiol. Plantarum 65, 33–39 (1985).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The C. hirsuta seeds were the kind gift of A. Hay, and the C. rubella and C. grandiflora seeds were the kind gift of M. Lenhard.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

C.H.W. and T.B. designed and performed experiments, collected and analysed data and wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tom Bennett.

Additional information

Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Fig. 1 and Supplementary Tables 1–2.

Reporting Summary

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Walker, C.H., Bennett, T. A distributive ‘50% rule’ determines floral initiation rates in the Brassicaceae. Nat. Plants 5, 940–943 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-019-0503-z

Download citation

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing