Developmental timing in plants.

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Plants exhibit reproducible timing of developmental events at multiple scales, from switches in cell identity to maturation of the whole plant. Control of developmental timing likely evolved for similar reasons that humans invented clocks: to coordinate events. However, whereas clocks are designed to run independently of conditions, plant developmental timing is strongly dependent on growth and environment. Using simplified models to convey key concepts, we review how growth-dependent and inherent timing mechanisms interact with the environment to control cyclical and progressive developmental transitions in plants.