A panicle (PAN-i-cul), for example, heather, is a loose, irregularly branched flower cluster, actually a compound raceme
. Most flowers classified as panicles have a central axis with branches that are themselves branched (see Figure 9-9).
The compound raceme observed in Pisum may be accounted for by the suppression of second-order flower development by a second gene.
sativum has allowed us to identify genes that regulate key steps in compound raceme inflorescence development and to begin to explore their functions (Fig.
Thus comparative analysis may provide insight into an underlying genetic mechanism that distinguishes simple and compound racemes. Our long-range plan to extend our work to other family members will be facilitated by comparative data on more than 200 taxa within the Fabaceae, which is broader than any other group (Endress, 1994; Tucker & Douglas, 1994).