During sago palm cultivation, many suckers appear from the mother stem as it grows. Some suckers are thinned out, but the rest are left to grow to be harvested several years later after harvesting of the mother stem (trunk). Proper management of the suckers from the mother stem is important to obtain successive sago trunks from a single transplantation. Nevertheless, little scientific knowledge exists about the sucker growth, even the development of its primordium. Our objective is to clarify the differentiation position and the development of the sago palm lateral bud, which is the sucker bud. Results show that in sago palm, the sucker bud differentiates inside of the connate part of the leaf petiole, which is opposite to the axil side. Swelling of tissue is first visible inside of the third leaf from the growth point (rbL 3). Sucker bud initiation is visible at almost all leaf positions lower than rbL 5. Furthermore, at each leaf position, one or two (rarely three) buds are observed. Differentiated buds usually elongate exponentially. Some develop more than two times on average. These sucker buds differentiate inside of the connate part of the thin leaf petiole, which split toward the base gradually as new leaves emerge. The differentiation position of the sucker buds and the thin leaf petiole are expected to be related closely to the further growth of the large sucker buds.
2015 by The Crop Science Society of Japan