Apical Dominance

What Does Apical Dominance Mean?

In plants, apical dominance refers to the central plant’s dominance over other side stems. According to plant physiology, apical dominance is expressed in three main ways: the control of the axillary shoots angle, the inhibition of the shoot growth, as well as the axillary bud break. In some cases, removing the plant’s growing tip may encourage the lateral bud to break while removing the auxin.


Maximum Yield Explains Apical Dominance

During apical dominance, the lateral buds are inhibited by the shoot apex, encouraging the plant to grow vertically and absorb more light for photosynthesis. In most cases, the apical bud is found in the end of the shoot. Apical dominance was first discovered in 1934 when botanists observed how the plant hormone auxin was transported through the plant’s phloem before being diffused into the lateral buds in order to regulate apical dominance.

During apex removal, the plant normally undergoes four stages:

  • Lateral bud formation
  • Apical dominance
  • Lateral bud initiation
  • Development and elongation of the lateral bud as it becomes a branch.

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