Axillary Bud Fate Shapes Plant Architecture in Horticultural Crops

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Andrés, J.; Koskela, E. Axillary Bud Fate Shapes Plant Architecture in Horticultural Crops. Horticulturae 2022, 8, 130.

Title: Axillary Bud Fate Shapes Plant Architecture in Horticultural Crops
Author: Andrés, Javier; Koskela, Elli
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Date: 2022-01-31
Abstract: Above-ground plant architecture is dictated to a large extent by the fates and growth rates of aerial plant meristems. Shoot apical meristem gives rise to the fundamental plant form by generating new leaves. However, the fates of axillary meristems located in leaf axils have a great influence on plant architecture and affect the harvest index, yield potential and cultural practices. Improving plant architecture by breeding facilitates denser plantations, better resource use efficiency and even mechanical harvesting. Knowledge of the genetic mechanisms regulating plant architecture is needed for precision breeding, especially for determining feasible breeding targets. Fortunately, research in many crop species has demonstrated that a relatively small number of genes has a large effect on axillary meristem fates. In this review, we select a number of important horticultural and agricultural plant species as examples of how changes in plant architecture affect the cultivation practices of the species. We focus specifically on the determination of the axillary meristem fate and review how plant architecture may change even drastically because of altered axillary meristem fate. We also explain what is known about the genetic and environmental control of plant architecture in these species, and how further changes in plant architectural traits could benefit the horticultural sector.

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