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Picture of the Day

The 'off' button that lets plants make flowers

Plants must be eminently flexible. While most animals are born with all the organs they'll ever have, plants generate new organs, including flowers, leaves, and branches, throughout their lifespan. A variety of genes must activate in order for these organs to develop. But, in studying the process of flower formation, National Science Foundation-funded researchers have discovered how one pathway is stifled in order for flowers to form. It's been known that in animals certain pathways governing the activity of stem cells must be repressed in order to give rise to organs. These findings represent the first time that the same phenomenon has been demonstrated in plants.

Visit Website | Image credit: Wagner lab/Penn State