Production of Progeny by Plants that Flowered under Stress Conditions

Stressed plants might flower as an emergency response to produce the next generation. In this way, plants can preserve their species, even in unfavorable environments. In order for this to be a biologically advantageous response, plants induced to flower by stresses must produce fertile seeds and the progeny must develop normally.

P. nil Violet was grown in a 1/10-strength nutrient solution or tap water throughout its life. The plants that were induced to flower by poor-nutrition stress conditions reached anthesis, fruited, and produced seeds (Wada et al. 2010a). The seeds produced by the stressed plants were the same size as or slightly smaller than the control seeds produced by plants that flowered by short-day treatment. All of these seeds germinated, and the progeny developed normally. The progeny responded to short-day treatment and formed floral buds. Furthermore, a normal second generation was produced from the stress progeny.

Red-leaved P. frutescens plants were grown under long-day conditions with low-intensity light beginning at the stage in which the cotyledons expanded. Plants were then continuously grown under the same conditions. The plants induced to flower by the low-intensity light stress conditions reached anthesis and formed seeds (Wada et al. 2010b) . There were four seeds per flower as in the normal plants. The seeds produced under low-intensity light were heavier than the control seeds produced under usual short-day conditions. The seeds produced under stress conditions germinated, and the progenies grew normally and were induced to flower in response to short-day treatments.

These results in P. nil and P. frutescens indicate that the stressed plants do not need to await

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