|Author: ||R.H. Zimmerman|
Juvenility is defined strictly in terms of ability of seedlings to form flowers.
The juvenile phase ends with the attainment of the ability to flower.
The appearance of the first flowers on the seedling is the first evidence that the plant is in the adult phase.
Any transition period between the 2 phases is qualitatively the same as the adult phase, but there is presently no method for distinguishing such a transition period from the juvenile phase.
The distinction between seedlings in the juvenile phase and young, vegetatively propagated trees, which do not flower, is emphasized.
Seedlings which have responded to growth retardant treatments by flowering at an earlier age are considered to have been in a transition period at the time they were treated.
Future research emphasis should be on developing methods for accurately identifying the end of the juvenile phase, development of growth regulators which can accelerate development of seedlings in the juvenile phase and other regulators which can induce flowers on seedlings after the juvenile phase has ended.
The advantages of using apomictic seedlings in studies of this type are pointed out.
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