Promoting Flowering With Cold

Vernalization is the process whereby flowering is promoted by a cold treatment given to a fully hydrated seed (i.e., a seed that has imbibed water) or to a growing plant. Dry seeds do not respond to the cold treatment. Without the cold treatment, plants that require vernalization show delayed flowering or remain vegetative. In many cases these plants grow as rosettes with no elongation of the stem (Figure 24.25).

In this section we will examine some of the characteristics of the cold requirement for flowering, including the annual type that was exposed to 40 days of temperatures slightly above freezing (40°C) as a seedling. It flowered 3 weeks after the end of the cold treatment with about 9 leaves on the primary stem. (Courtesy of Colleen Bizzell.)

FIGURE 24.25 Vernalization induces flowering in the winter-annual types of Arabidopsis thaliana. The plant on the left is a winter-annual type that has not been exposed to cold. The plant on the right is a genetically identical winter-

range and duration of the inductive temperatures, the sites of perception, the relationship to photoperiodism, and a possible molecular mechanism.

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