Flowers are the beautiful and complex reproductive structures of the angiosperms, one of the most diverse and successful groups of living organisms. The underlying thesis of Understanding Flowers & Flowering is that to fully understand plant development (and why flowers differ in shape, structure and colour), it is necessary to understand why it is advantageous for them to look like they do. Conversely, in order to fully understand plant ecology, it is necessary to appreciate how floral structures have adapted and evolved. Uniquely, Understanding Flowers & Flowering addresses flowers and flowering from both a molecular genetic perspective (considering flower induction, development and self-incompatibility) and an ecological perspective (looking at the selective pressures placed on plants by pollinators, and the consequences for animal-plant co-evolution).
Understanding Flowers and Flowering first considers the evolution of flowers and the history of research into their development. This is followed by a detailed description of the processes which lead to flower production in model plants. Understanding Flowers & Flowering then examines how flowers differ in shape, structure and colour, and how these differences are generated. Finally it assesses the role of these various aspects of floral biology in attracting pollinators and ensuring successful reproduction. In so doing, it provides the first truly integrated study of the topic – one that discusses both the how? and why? of flowering plant reproductive biology.
1. The Evolution of Flowers
2. Historical Interpretations of Flower Induction and Flower Development
THE MOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF FLOWERING: INDUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT
3. Flower induction in Arabidopsis thaliana
4. The autonomous pathways for floral inhibition and induction
5. The photoperiodic pathway of floral induction
6. The vernalization pathway of floral induction and the role of gibberellin
7. Integrating the Arabidopsis thaliana flower induction pathways and assessing the extent to which the model is ubiquitous
8. Changes at the shoot apical meristem in response to floral induction
9. Development of the floral organs
10. The ABC model in evolution
11. Development of gametes
12. Preventing self-fertilisation
POLLINATION SUCCESS: MOLECULAR AND ECOLOGICAL INTERACTIONS
13. Why are flowers different? Pollination syndromes - the theory
14. Changing floral shape and structure
15. Colouring the flower
16. Enhancing flower colour
17. Are flowers under selective pressure to increase pollinator attention?
18. Do pollinators discriminate between different floral forms?
19. Pollination syndromes - the evidence
Flowers and Flowering is a well written text that would well serve undergraduates, early graduate students , or anyone with a solid biology background who is interested in floral biology. Elena M. Kramer BioScience ...a very carefully written, detailed and up-to-date book. It can be recommended as a text book for courses at the master's level and for PhD courses alike. IT can also help the specialist to get a quick overview about expanding field. Finally, it is a great pleasure to read just for the love of flowers! Lars Hennig Plant Molecular Biology '...this is a fascinating book that will be useful to senior undergraduates' British Ecological Society