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J Exp Bot. 2014 Nov;65(20):5749-57. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eru327. Epub 2014 Aug 18.

Flower opening and closure: an update.

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Mann Laboratory, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Department of Horticulture, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen campus, Nakhon Pathom 73140, Thailand.


This review is an update of a 2003 review (Journal of Experimental Botany 54,1801-1812) by the same corresponding author. Many examples of flower opening have been recorded using time-lapse photography, showing its velocity and the required elongation growth. Ethylene regulates flower opening, together with at least gibberellins and auxin. Ethylene and gibberellic acid often promote and inhibit, respectively, the expression of DELLA genes and the stability of DELLA proteins. DELLA results in growth inhibition. Both hormones also inhibited and promoted, respectively, the expression of aquaporin genes required for cell elongation. Arabidopsis miRNA319a mutants exhibited narrow and short petals, whereby miRNA319a indirectly regulates auxin effects. Flower opening in roses was controlled by a NAC transcription factor, acting through miRNA164. The regulatory role of light and temperature, in interaction with the circadian clock, has been further elucidated. The end of the life span in many flowers is determined by floral closure. In some species pollination resulted in earlier closure of turgid flowers, compared with unpollinated flowers. It is hypothesized that this pollination-induced effect is only found in flowers in which closure is regulated by ethylene.


Carbohydrates; cell wall; diurnal clock; flower; growth; hormone; humidity; miRNA; petal; sepal; temperature; tepal; water relations.

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