Genets of dwarf bamboo do not die after one flowering event: evidence from genetic structure and flowering pattern

J Plant Res. 2009 Sep;122(5):523-8. doi: 10.1007/s10265-009-0241-9. Epub 2009 May 22.


Dwarf bamboos in the genus Sasa are believed to be long-lived, synchronously flowering, and monocarpic plants. However, the monocarpy of dwarf bamboo has not been confirmed, because whether all ramets within one genet flower at the same time cannot be determined without differentiating the genetic structure among ramets. This study aims to evaluate the reproductive traits of Sasa pubiculmis by verifying the monocarpy and physiological integration between flowering ramets and non-flowering ramets during a 4-year flowering period. One genotypically identified genet, which covered an area of approximately 3 ha, had both flowering and non-flowering patches of ramets during the 4-year flowering period (2004-2007). A fraction of the flowering genet remained non-flowering during the 4 years of observation, and did not die after mass flowering. Flowering ramets were physically connected to non-flowering ramets via rhizomes, and assimilated (13)C was allocated from non-flowering ramets to flowering ramets. Consequently, we clarified that this dwarf bamboo potentially has polycarpic reproductive traits rather than monocarpic, and a genet can keep rhizomes and non-flowering patches alive to sustain the organism after mass flowering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Flowers / genetics*
  • Flowers / physiology*
  • Sasa / genetics*
  • Sasa / growth & development
  • Sasa / physiology*


  • Carbon Isotopes