The plastochron index provides a morphological time scale which has proved more reliable than chronological age in studies relating morphological and physiological development of a whole plant or plant organ Since its inception in 1957, the index has been utilized in a variety of investigations from leaf ontogeny in cottonwood trees to rhizoid cluster initiation in algae The plastochron index has been extensively used in studies involving source and sink relationships, leaf anatomy, cell differentiation, and primary vascularization. It has been used in investigations of hormonal regulation of plant growth and in studies of the effects of various environmental factors on developmental processes in crops. This paper reviews some of the literature from 1957 to present concerning the development and use of the plastochron index.
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