The Molecular Genetics of Maturation in Eastern Larch (Larix Laricina [Du Roi] K. Koch)
Maturation in woody plants has recently received much attention because of the maturation-related decrease in the ability to clone selected individuals using expiants from mature plants (Hackett, 1985; Greenwood, 1987). Furthermore, the phenotypic changes that accompany maturation make it difficult for the tree breeder to select superior genetic families or individuals at the seedling stage (e.g., Lambeth, 1980). The changes associated with maturation include growth rate, branching characteristics and growth habit, reproductive behavior, and the morphology and physiology of foliage. The significance of the latter will be emphasized in this brief report, with emphasis on the role of gene expression in the maturational process. Changes in foliage associated with maturation have been discussed (e.g., Zimmerman et al., 1985; Bauer and Bauer, 1980) and do not follow a completely consistent pattern among species.
KeywordsChlorophyll Content Stomatal Conductance Short Shoot Specific Leaf Weight Hedera Helix
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