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Title: Flower development: open questions and future directions

item WELLMER, FRANK - Trinity College
item BOWMAN, JOHN - Monash University
item DAVIES, BRENDAN - University Of Leeds
item FERRANDIZ, CRISTINA - University Of Valencia
item Fletcher, Jennifer
item FRANKS, ROBERT - North Carolina State University
item GRACIET, EMMANUELLE - Trinity College
item GREGIS, VERONICA - University Of Milan
item ITO, TOSHIRO - National University Of Singapore
item JACK, THOMAS - Dartmouth College
item JIAO, YULING - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item KATER, MARTIN - University Of Milan
item MA, HONG - Fudan University
item MEYEROWITZ, ELLIOT - California Institute Of Technology
item PRUNET, NATHANAEL - Dartmouth College
item RIECHMANN, JOSE LUIS - Autonomous University Of Barcelona

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/27/2013
Publication Date: 1/8/2014
Citation: Wellmer, F., Bowman, J.L., Davies, B., Ferrandiz, C., Fletcher, J.C., Franks, R.G., Graciet, E., Gregis, V., Ito, T., Jack, T.P., Jiao, Y., Kater, M.M., Ma, H., Meyerowitz, E.M., Prunet, N., Riechmann, J. 2014. Flower development: open questions and future directions. In: Riechmann, J.L., Wellman, F., editors. Flower development. New York, NY: Springer Publishing. p. 103-124.

Interpretive Summary: Flowers contain the male and female reproductive organs of the plant, and thus are essential for plant reproduction in addition to their significant ornamental value to humans. Nearly three decades of molecular genetic and biochemical research has yielded detailed insights into many of the processes that are required for flower development, yet many questions still remain. In this chapter we discuss experimental strategies that can be used to address unanswered questions regarding floral meristem formation and patterning, floral organ specification and differentiation, and the molecular mechanisms underlying floral variation among plant species. By progressing towards a more complete understanding of flower development, we can ultimately improve ornamental plant species as well as augment key agronomic traits such as pollination, self-incompatibility, and fruit/grain yield.

Technical Abstract: Almost three decades of genetic and molecular analyses have resulted in detailed insights into many of the processes that take place during flower development and in the identification of a large number of key regulatory genes that control these processes. Despite this impressive progress, many questions about how flower development is controlled in different angiosperm species remain unanswered. In this chapter, we discuss some of these open questions and the experimental strategies with which they could be addressed. Specifically, we focus on the areas of floral meristem development and patterning, floral organ specification and differentiation, as well as on the molecular mechanisms underlying the evolutionary changes that have led to the astounding variations in flower size and architecture among extant and extinct angiosperms.