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Keywords:

  • AFLP;
  • bamboo;
  • clonal structure;
  • flowering interval;
  • genet;
  • synchronized flowering

Abstract

Although many bamboo species are characterized by simultaneous flowering at long intervals of up to 120 years, few studies have revealed the length of the flowering interval for very-long-lived bamboo species by observing the whole life cycle of a single clone. The flowering interval of Phyllostachys pubescens had been determined to be 67 years by means of observation through the entire life cycle from 1912 to 1979. We observed and analysed the clonal structure and flowering traits of a P. pubescens community which had regenerated from seed in 1930 and began to flower in 1997. Although this interval was again 67 years, flowering and nonflowering culms were mixed, and the flowering event lasted three years in the community. AFLP analysis of DNA samples showed distinct genets that originated from the previous flowering event and that each genet had its own flowering time. This is the first report to show that (i) different genets are mixed in a community of a large bamboo species with a leptomorphic rhizome system, and (ii) a community that originated from a single flowering event can have a range of flowering years.