Floral morphogenesis in Rudbeckia hirta in relation to polyamine concentration

Richard L. Harkess, Robert E. Lyons, Mosbah M. Kushad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Changes in polyamine concentration in the long day (LD) plant Rudbeckia hirta were examined over the course of floral initiation and development. Plants of R. hirta were grown to maturity under 9h, non‐floral‐inductive photoperiods. At maturity, half the plants were placed in ambient day length plus a 4‐h night interruption. Plants were sampled at 0, 4, 8, 12 or 16 days for polyamine content and floral initiation. Polyamines were extracted from fully expanded leaves and the meristems were examined histologically. In another experiment, polyamines were extracted from the meristems under paired LD and short day (SD) conditions every 2 days from 0 to 22 days. A rise in free polyamines was linked to important cytological events during floral initiation. Free putrescine and spermidine levels increased after 4 LD and continued until 14 to 16 LD when the levels in the meristem began to decline. Events of floral initiation began between 4 and 8 LD with cell proliferation and the start of stem elongation. Initiation was irreversible after 14 to 16 LD, the period when putrescine and spermidine began to decline. After 4 LD, the polyamine level was consistently higher in the photoinduced plants. Our results from this study, using direct histological comparisons of meristematic development and polyamine concentration, clearly demonstrate a correlation of polyamines and flowering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-582
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1992


  • Flowering
  • Rudbeckia hirta
  • morphogenesis
  • putrescin
  • spermidine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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