MY SITN Aquilegia flowerUnlike animals, plants possess the ability to generate new tissues and organs throughout their entire lifespans due to the activity of stem cells located in specific sites termed meristems. During the reproductive phase, floral meristem (lower right dome-shaped structure) give rise to different floral organ primordia (the series of bulges), which will eventually grow into the sepals, petals, stamens, staminodia, and carpels of a beautiful Columbine flower (Aquilegia coerulea). Bonded by cell walls (stained by fluorescent stain calcofluor white and appearing blue in this picture), it is possible to trace how each cell divides and differentiates, and how do a group undifferentiated cells gives rise to a flower.    

Contributed by Min Ya, a second year graduate student in the Organismal and Evolutionary Biology program at Harvard University, and our Featured Artist for the month of April, 2017.

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