The timing and synchrony of male and female flowering in wheat is a crucial determinant of seed set and may be an important factor affecting gene flow and resilience to climate change. Lukac et al. assess the anther and stigma activity of each floret on developing ears of wheat, Triticum aestivum, and find that synchrony between pollen dehiscence and stigma collapse within a flower is dependent on its relative position in a spike and within a floret. Modelling the observations indicates that the temporal and spatial variability of anther activity within and between spikes may influence the relative resilience of wheat to sudden, extreme climatic events.
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