Molecule tells flower to flower

August 12, 2005

Swedish researchers report a breakthrough discovery in how plants control their flowering.

A small molecule formed in the plant leaves is transported to the shoot tips where it induces the formation of flowers, according researchers at the Umea Plant Science Centre at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

This knowledge can lead to the development of new tools that can be used to control the timing of plant flowering, something that is of central importance in both agriculture and forestry.

It is absolutely vital for the plant survival to flower at exactly the right time to secure that it can pollinate, or be pollinated, by other plants of the same species, the researchers says.

The findings are published in the journal Science.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: 'Battle of the Sexes'—How inhibition of male flower production lets female flowers emerge

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