The importance of the stage principle in the study of the individual development and resistance of plant organisms Heredity and variability of plants, animals and microorganisms

Genkel', P.A.

Akad Nauk Sssr Moscow 2: 15-22


Accession: 025817173

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A criticism is given of the views of N.P. Krenke on the maturing of perennial plants as a constant increase of the quantitative characteristics of aging (A) and a steady decrease of the capacity for rejuvenation (R). This contradicts I. V. Michurin's notions on the qualitative character of the age stages of development of perennial plants. A continuous process of aging takes place unevenly from the point of view of the stage principle. The development itself cannot be regarded as a struggle between aging and rejuvenation. If the presence of the rejuvenation process in ontogenesis is admitted, the reversibility of development will have to be recognized. Actual rejuvenation is observed in sexual reproduction, vegetative reproduction and the origination of new formations under the influence of changed conditions of existence. If a tree is cut down, old buds will awaken which will have characteristics of a younger state. However, this will not be a rejuvenation, but a retarded aging, as the dormant buds age much more slowly, than the rest of the plant. What Krenke calls rejuvenation is only an intensive renewal of growth processes. The plant is not rejuvenated in this case, but continues to age. The author believes it is worthwhile to use the term "renewal of organisms" for changes in ontogenesis which are only similar to a true rejuvenation.