15.3 Development

Development is a term that includes all changes that an organism goes through during its life cycle from germination of the seed to senescence. Diagrammatic representation of the sequence of processes which constitute the development of a cell of a higher plant. It is also applicable to tissues/organs.

Plants follow different pathways in response to environment or phases of life to form different kinds of structures.

This ability is called plasticity, e.g., heterophylly in cotton, coriander and larkspur. In such plants, the leaves of the juvenile plant are different in shape from those in mature plants.

On the other hand, difference in shapes of leaves produced in air and those produced in water in buttercup also represent the heterophyllous development due to environment. This phenomenon of heterophylly is an example of plasticity.

Thus, growth, differentiation and development are very closely related events in the life of a plant. Broadly, development is considered as the sum of growth and differentiation.

Development in plants (i.e., both growth and differentiation) is under the control of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The former includes both intracellular (genetic) or intercellular factors (chemicals such as plant growth regulators) while the latter includes light, temperature, water, oxygen, nutrition, etc.

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