What is it about?

Shoot branching is a key determinant of plant architecture that has great impacts on crop yield. The growth of buds in the axils of leaves (lateral buds) are normally inhibited due to the apical dominance. We showed that the plant hormone brassinosteroid is an essential signal for activation of the lateral buds and release from the apical dominance.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that the classic signals involved in apical dominance like auxin, strigolactone, cytokinin and sugar regulate the growth of lateral buds through affecting brassinosteroid signaling in the buds. This helps us to better understand the hormone interaction network underlying the control of apical dominance.


Excessive shoot branching adversely affects the tomato production. Knowing that the brassinosteroid signaling is a central player in the control of shoot branching may help to create novel technologies for improving the shoot architecture in tomato. Manipulation of local brassinosteroid signaling in the lateral buds without impacts on other developmental process is a promising strategy.

Jingquan Yu
Zhejiang University

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This page is a summary of: Brassinosteroid signaling integrates multiple pathways to release apical dominance in tomato, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2004384118.
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