Do perennials really senesce?

Trends Plant Sci. 2008 May;13(5):216-20. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2008.02.002. Epub 2008 Mar 6.


Although senescence remains less studied in perennials than in monocarpic plants, major advances in understanding senescence in perennials have been achieved recently. This success is due not only to the use of genetic tools in woody plants but also to a renaissance of research on how perennials can live for centuries or even millennia. The particularities of perennial life are considered here, with an emphasis on how these affect senescence at different levels of organization. I conclude that although cellular and leaf senescence do share common features in monocarpic and perennial plants, the indeterminacy of meristems found in perennials begs the question of whether senescence really occurs in these organisms at the whole-plant level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology*
  • Meristem / physiology*
  • Plant Leaves / physiology*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*