Robust organ size requires robust timing of initiation orchestrated by focused auxin and cytokinin signalling

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Organ size and shape are precisely regulated to ensure proper function. The four sepals in each Arabidopsis thaliana flower must maintain the same size throughout their growth to continuously enclose and protect the developing bud. Here we show that DEVELOPMENT RELATED MYB-LIKE 1 (DRMY1) is required for both timing of organ initiation and proper growth, leading to robust sepal size in Arabidopsis. Within each drmy1 flower, the initiation of some sepals is variably delayed. Late-initiating sepals in drmy1 mutants remain smaller throughout development, resulting in variability in sepal size. DRMY1 focuses the spatiotemporal signalling patterns of the plant hormones auxin and cytokinin, which jointly control the timing of sepal initiation. Our findings demonstrate that timing of organ initiation, together with growth and maturation, contribute to robust organ size.