Can one shoot tip (in a plant) have more than one apical meristem?

  • Thread starter VVD
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  • #1
VVD
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Summary:
Plant morphology.
Do plants always have just one apical meristem at any given time? If I see multiple buds at a single shoot tip (multiple "apical buds"?), what am I looking at? Is it:
  1. multiple ("codominant") apical meristems, or
  2. the buds compete for dominance until one of them ends up being the apical meristem, or
  3. one of the buds is the apical meristem & the others are axillary buds pressed up really close to it?
Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
jim mcnamara
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Generally, all of the leaf nodes "south", of the apical meristem, have an inactive meristem, called a bud:

Screenshot_2020-12-17 leaf node plant - Google Search.png


The dominant meristem produces auxins (plant hormones like Indole acetic acid IAA). This hormone keeps the "southern" buds inactive.

If the stem is cut just under the apical metistem and above the node, then the bud then becomes the dominant apical meristem. No hormone to turn it off, so it starts making IAA. So each each branch of a tree has it's own apical meristem. The number of apical meristems can be one or many depending on the growth habit.

The reason grasses are able to be eaten down or mowed close to the ground is because the apical meristem is at or below ground level. Cool. IMO.
 
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