Flower Induction in Arabidopsis thaliana
Research into flower development is conducted through a molecular genetic approach. Such an approach uses the backwards-seeming logic of searching for a plant with a mutation which prevents a process occurring properly. By analysing the process in the mutant plant, and by identifying and analysing the mutated gene, it is possible to build up a picture of how a normal plant and a normal gene work. When molecular genetic analysis becomes the usual way of exploring a biological process, there is a tendency for the majority of work to focus on one or a few species. The weedy annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana has become the most extensively studied plant species. This chapter introduces Arabidopsis and the reasons why it has become the model of choice for the study of floral induction. It then goes on to look at the description and characterization of mutants with perturbations in floral induction.
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