The rice plant has tillers which are a characteristic of grass plants; however they have recognized a way of growing the plant which causes it to create the best grain possible.
Vegetative: In this stage the plant germinates and gradually grows taller and leaves emerge at steady intervals.
Germination: The root elongates through the seed coat and anchors into the soil. The primary leaf (coleoptile) also elongates and breaks through the seed coat.
Early seedling growth: The first internode (mesocotyl) elongates and pushes the coleoptile through the soil. The seminal and secondary roots continue to develop, and the first four leaves appear.
Stem development: Tillering starts after the fifth leaf emerges. Tillers are the visible segments on the stem of the rice plant. Each tiller holds a two-part leaf. This tiller emerges from the auxiliary bud on the second leaf. The next tiller emerges on the third leaf after the sixth leaf emerges. This growth continues with the tiller emerging on the (n-3) th leaf after the nth leaf emerges until the maximum tiller number is reached. The secondary roots continue to grow down until they flood the plants and then the roots grow both vertically and horizontally. Once the plant has reached the maximum tiller number it enters a vegetative lag phase where the height and diameter of the stem still increase, but not as fast, and the tillers start to decrease in number.
Reproductive: Many things happen in this stage: the stem continues to grow taller, the tiller number continues to decrease, booting, the emergence of a flag leaf, heading, and flowering.
Increased plant growth: The plant undergoes PI (Panicle Initiation) where the panicle grows up the main stem of the rice plant as the plant continues to grow.
Emergence of flag leaf (last leaf): The last leaf swells as the panicle grows up the flag leaf. This is where meiosis occurs in the plant (asexual reproduction),... [continues]
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