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Abstract Detail

Development and Structure

Baughman, Melanie [1], Kirchoff, Bruce [2].

Does Hand Size Influence the Floral Initiation Pattern in Banana (Musa, Musaceae)?

The Musa inflorescence consists of a single axis that bears lateral hands of flowers and bananas. Each hand consists of two rows of flowers. The flowers are formed on a cushion of tissue in the axis of an inflorescence bract. Hand size is defined by the number of flowers that occur in a hand. Floral initiation sequences are based on the order of floral formation in each hand. In the 1950s, Abraham Fahn found that Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana, and Dwarf Cavendish, a hybrid of M. acuminata and M. balbisiana, exhibit a uniform (zigzag) floral initiation pattern and a large hand size consisting of 15+ flowers. A zigzag pattern occurs when the initial flower forms on the furthest corner of the hand and the following flowers alternate between the top (adaxial) and bottom (abaxial) rows of the hand. More recently, one of us (Kirchoff) found a chaotic floral initiation sequence in M. velutina, a species with a small number of flowers (seven flowers) in its hand. In a chaotic floral initiation pattern, there is no regular order in the formation of flowers. Kirchoff's observations led to the hypothesis that the floral initiation sequence is dependent on the hand size. To test this hypothesis, observation of hand sizes in more Musa sp. is required. Our preliminary results suggest that Musa basjoo, which has a hand size of 22 flowers, forms flowers in a zigzag floral initiation pattern. Ensete ventricosum, with a hand size of 21 flowers, also has a zigzag pattern but with erratic irregularities. These observations support Fahn's results, indicating that if a species with a large hand size will have a zigzag floral initiation sequence. Observation of floral initiation patterns in species with small hand sizes is needed to establish if hand size influences the floral initiation pattern.

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1 - 3646 Sunset Hollow Drive, High Point, NC, 27265, United States
2 - Univ Of NC Greensboro, Department Of Biology, Po Box 26170, Greensboro, NC, 27402, United States

flower development
inflorescence development.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: DS1, Development and Structure I
Location: /
Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 10:45 AM(EDT)
Number: DS1004
Abstract ID:408
Candidate for Awards:Katherine Esau Award,Developmental and Structural Section Graduate Student Registration Award


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