Phenotypic plasticity of sylleptic branching: Genetic design of tree architecture

Rongling Wu, T. M. Hinckley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The crown of many trees is composed of a main axis and branches. All branches arise from axillary or lateral buds and two types of branches exist: proleptic and sylleptic. Proleptic branches form from buds that have undergone a rest period, typically associated with winter dormancy, whereas sylleptic branches emerge without a rest and without complete bud formation. All trees have proleptic branches; some trees with the indeterminant growth habit have both proleptic and sylleptic branches. Sylleptic branches may play an important role in determining tree growth, architecture and adaptation for many temperate-zone woody plants. We review evidence for the phenotypic plasticity of sylleptic branches and its genetic, environmental, and developmental control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-485
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Reviews in Plant Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science


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