Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Some Effects of Temperature and Light on Floral Initiation and Development in Acacia pycnantha

M Sedgley

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 12(2) 109 - 118
Published: 1985


Floral initiation and development in Acacia pycnantha were studied under three environments. Two had ambient southern Australian temperatures of warm summer (mean max. 32°C, mean min. 16°C) and cool winter (mean max. 19°C, mean min. 8°C), one with full sunlight (outside) and the other with 30% light intensity (shadehouse). The other environment (glasshouse) had slightly lower than normal light intensity and a relatively constant year round temperature of mean 28°C maximum and 16°C minimum. Plants were scored for microscopic and macroscopic evidence of floral initiation and development.

Floral primordia were initiated all year round under all environments. Floral development proceeded normally under ambient conditions of temperature and light, and anthesis occurred between August and October. Under low light intensity, floral development did not progress beyond a very early stage and macroscopically visible racemes were rare. Under the constant temperatures, floral development proceeded normally up to the stage of microsporogenesis and megasporogenesis. Meiosis did not occur and inflorescence buds ceased growth and were shed from the plant. Plants were transferred between the outside and glasshouse conditions in June, at around the stage of meiosis. Those transferred from outside to the glasshouse did not flower whereas some of those transferred from the glasshouse to outside flowered, but later and for a shorter period than plants maintained outside throughout.

It appears that a 70% reduction in sunlight inhibits floral development at an early stage and that temperatures of approximately mean maximum 19°C and minimum 8°C are required for meiosis in Acacia pycnantha.

© CSIRO 1985

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