A floret by any other name: control of meristem identity in maize

Trends Plant Sci. 2000 Feb;5(2):61-6. doi: 10.1016/s1360-1385(99)01541-1.


The life of a plant unfolds as a series of developmental stages, with each stage defined by changes in meristem identity. In maize, there are several distinct stages: the transition from vegetative growth to flowering, the elaboration of the inflorescence, and the formation of flowers. Progress in understanding meristem identity and function has been made by analyzing maize mutants with defects at each of these stages. Recently cloned genes suggest that, although the molecular mechanisms controlling floral organ identity are conserved in maize and other model species, the control of meristem identity during earlier developmental stages might be less conserved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genes, Plant
  • Zea mays / genetics
  • Zea mays / growth & development
  • Zea mays / physiology*