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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Flowering and Determinacy in Maize

item Bortiri, Esteban
item Hake, Sarah

Submitted to: Journal of Experimental Biology Online, Vol 3
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/17/2007
Publication Date: 3/3/2007
Publication URL:
Citation: Bortiri, E., Hake, S.C. 2007. Flowering and Determinacy in Maize. Journal of Experimental Biology Online. Vol 3, 58(5):909-16. Epub 2007 Mar 3.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: All plant organs are produced by meristems, groups of stem cells located in the tips of roots and shoots. Indeterminate meristems make an indefinite number of organs, whereas determinate meristems are consumed after making a specific number of organs. Maize is an ideal system to study the genetic control of meristem fate because of the contribution from determinate and indeterminate meristems to the overall inflorescence. Here, the latest work on meristem maintenance and organ specification in maize is reviewed. Genetic networks, such as the CLAVATA components of meristem maintenance and the ABC programme of flower development, are conserved between grasses and eudicots. Maize and rice appear to have conserved mechanisms of meristem maintenance and organ identity. Other pathways, such as sex determination, are likely to be found only in maize with its separate male and female flowers. A rich genetic history has resulted in a large collection of maize mutants. The advent of genomic tools and synteny across the grasses now permits the isolation of the genes behind inflorescence architecture and the ability to compare function across the Angiosperms.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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