Making bigger, bushier or better bearing plants

Plant biologists have identified a hormone that plays a key role in determining the size and shape of plants.

The discovery of the hormone strigolactone could have enormous impact on the forestry and horticultural industries, and is expected to lead to the ability to custom design the shape of plants.

“Taller plants can be produced by boosting strigolactone, and bushier plants can be grown by suppressing the hormone,” Associate Professor Dr Christine Beveridge said.

“In the case of fruit-producing trees where the yield comes from the branches, repression of the chemical — that is, to create more branches — can give a better harvest.”

Read more at The University of Queensland