Seed and fruit abortion as a process of self organization among developing sinks

Ganeshaiah, K. N. ; Uma Shaanker, R. (1994) Seed and fruit abortion as a process of self organization among developing sinks Physiologia Plantarum, 91 (1). pp. 81-89. ISSN 0031-9317

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL:

Related URL:


Fruit and seed abortion in plants have been traditionally attributed to limiting factors such as resources or to chemically mediated dominance hierarchy among the developing sinks. These hypotheses however do not satisfactorily explain the observed patterns of seed and fruit abortion and have also not withstood the test of critical experimentation. In this paper, we propose an alternative model based on the process of self organization used in physics to explain the flow of liquids etc. As proposed here, the model assumes one simple rule, that the probability of any given sink getting a resource molecule is a function of (a) the sink-drawing ability of each unit of the tissue and (b) the amount of resource molecules already moved to that sink. Accordingly, any resource molecule moving to a sink, autocatalytically increases the probability of the latter getting further resources. We show that starting from a set of identical sinks, all with equal sink-drawing ability, the differential development of sinks and thence their abortion might occur purely as a consequence of the autocatalytic or feedback movement of the resource molecules to the developing sinks. We also show that, such a process can lead to abortion even under resource-abundant conditions, though resource limitation aggravates the extent of abortion. Further, the extent of abortion is shown to be highly dependent on the sink-drawing ability of the species. We offer the test of this prediction in two ways: (a) in Derris indica the extent of abortion increases with the sink drawing ability of the fertilized ovules and (b) treatments involving growth regulators that increase the sink-drawing ability result in increased abortion of seeds and fruits. Based on these, we argue that self organization could be the basic process regulating resource flow to sinks and factors such as resource limitation and chemical inhibition might be additionally aggravating the asymmetry among the developing sinks.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Scandinavian Society for Plant Physiology.
Keywords:Abortion; Autocatalytic-Feedback; Fruit; Fruit-Thinning; Polya Urn Model; Seed; Self-Organization; Sink-Drawing Ability
ID Code:13214
Deposited On:11 Nov 2010 06:43
Last Modified:31 May 2011 11:37

Repository Staff Only: item control page