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  1. Jeremy A Roberts,
  2. Zinnia H González-Carranza

Published Online: 16 JUL 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020089



How to Cite

Roberts, J. A. and González-Carranza, Z. H. 2007. Abscission. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Nottingham, School of Biosciences, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 JUL 2007

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 APR 2013)


The abscission of organs takes place at discrete sites and at specific times during the life cycle of a plant. These observations suggest that the abscission zone comprises a layer of positionally differentiated cells that undergo separation from their neighbours in response to precise developmental and environmental cues. By studying mutants of Arabidopsis that exhibit an attenuated capacity to shed their floral organs, it has been possible to identify a number of genes that may play a role in both the differentiation of abscission zone cells and the timing of organ shedding. The possible applications of this knowledge to agricultural and horticultural species are discussed.


  • abscission zone;
  • cell separation;
  • auxin;
  • ethylene;
  • cell wall degrading enzymes;
  • mutants;
  • arabidopsis