Cauliflower Question

Mark D. Spiro spiro at BUCKNELL.EDU
Fri Jul 9 10:31:42 EST 1999

	We regularly use cauliflower heads as a source of explants for
plant tissue culture in class.  These explants, cultured in the light in
the absence of hormones, will turn green and form some flowers within the
first week.  In the next few weeks in the presence of auxin and cytokynins
many of the meristems will begin to form shoots with rosettes containing
several leaves.  I think that this indicates that some, but not all, of the
meristems in cauliflower are determined as floral meristems.
	By the way, this is a phenomenal system to use in undergraduate
labs since the students can see the formation of several whole plants from
small pieces of cauliflower tissue within 3-4 weeks.  These plants can then
be rooted and slowly acclimatized to soil.  This is suprising for many
students since many don't realize that vegetables are alive.  This protocol
is written up by JH Haldeman and JP Ellis, 1998, American Biology Teacher,
50 (3) 154-159.

Mark D. Spiro
Department of Biology
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA 17837
spiro at
phone:  (570) 577-3486
fax: (570) 577-3537

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