The role of gibberellins in flower bud development was investigated by studying the gib-1 mutant of tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum. This gibberellin-deficient mutant initiates flower buds, but floral development is not completed unless the mutant is treated with gibberellin. Treatment with other plant growth regulators does not induce normal flower development. Development of gib-1 flower buds, as measured by progress toward anthesis, ceases at a bud length of 2.5 millimeters; however, increase in size of the bud continues. Buds between 2.5 and 3.7 millimeters are developmentally arrested but still are capable of developing normally after treatment with gibberellic acid. Anthers of these developmentally arrested buds contain pollen mother cells that are in the G1 phase of premeiotic interphase. Following treatment of developmentally arrested buds with gibberellic acid, premeiotic DNA synthesis and callose accumulation in pollen mother cells are evident by 48 hours posttreatment, and within 66 hours, prophase I of meiosis- and meiosis-related changes in tapetum development are observable.
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