Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 22, pp 3807–3818 | Cite as

Floral meristem initiation and emergence in plants



Plant development and architecture is regulated by meristems that initiate lateral organs on their flanks. The gene regulatory networks that govern the transition of a vegetative shoot apical meristem into an inflorescence meristem (IM), together with those necessary to specify floral meristem (FM) identity have been elucidated in Arabidopsis thaliana and are highly complex and redundant. FMs are initiated in the axils of cryptic bracts and evidence suggests that FMs emerge and differentiate along an abaxial/adaxial axis, in contrast to existing models of centroradial positional information within FMs. Real-time imaging has revealed dynamic cell division and gene expression patterns associated with incipient primordia in the IM. This review, however, outlines how little is known concerning the identity of these primordia, the timing of FM specification and commitment in relation to the establishment of FM identity, and the interplay between bract and FM founder cell recruitment and development.


Floral meristem Bracts Founder cell Incipient primordia Meristem identity 



JWC acknowledges funding from the Deustche Forschungsgemeinschaft via SFB572 and two anonymous reviewers for the improvement of this manuscript.


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© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Developmental Biology, Cologne BiocenterCologne UniversityCologneGermany

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