Naturally occurring variation in high temperature induced floral bud abortion across Arabidopsis thaliana accessions

Ryan M. Warner, John E. Erwin

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29 Scopus citations


A system to study the basis of high temperature-induced floral bud abortion using naturally occurring variation for heat-tolerance of floral development among Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. wild-collected accessions is described. High temperature-induced floral bud abortion was dependent on both temperature and duration of exposure. Normalizing high temperature exposures to degree-hours (°C-h) above 33°C indicated that abortion of flower buds increased as exposure increased between 200 and 300°C-h above 33°C and exposures > 300°C-h above 33°C resulted in abortion of the entire primary inflorescence. Thirteen wild-collected Arabidopsis accessions representing a latitudinal gradient were screened for variation in high temperature-induced floral bud abortion, and Col-0 and No-0 were selected as models for heat-tolerance and -sensitivity for flower development, respectively. No-0 flower buds were heat-sensitive across a wider range of developmental stages (stages 9-12, compared to stage 12 for Col-0 flower buds). Exposing the inflorescence alone to high temperature was sufficient to induce floral bud abortion, and Col-0 and No-0 photosynthetic rates were similar during high temperature exposure and recovery, indicating that high temperature induced floral abortion is not simply due to reductions in carbon assimilation under high temperatures. Determining that exposing floral buds alone to high temperature is sufficient to induce abortion and identifying the stages of floral development sensitive to high temperature-induced abortion will aid in identifying the developmental events subject to disruption under high temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1266
Number of pages12
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Flower development
  • Heat stress
  • Intraspecific variation
  • Photosynthesis


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