Triple plagiotropic branch in coffee: a new promising mutant?

<div><p>Abstract Coffee tree is a shrub with dimorphic branches. The orthotropic stem grows vertically with two near-horizontal plagiotropic branches, per node, in opposite phyllotaxy. The consecutive nodes of the orthotropic stem are organized in parastichies. We report here mutant plants of Coffea arabica with triple plagiotropic branch, resulted from the whorled phyllotaxy of the orthotropic stem. In mutant plants three plagiotropic branches in the same node are separated by angles of approximately 120o, while in normal plants two plagiotropic branches in the same node are separated by angles of approximately 180o. In mutant plants the angles of the parastichies increase approximately 50o clockwise between consecutive nodes, while in normal plants the angles increase approximately 87o. The plant architecture is changed. The triple plagiotropic branch is a putative mutant with potential to be explored in coffee breeding programs. The hypotheses for the origin of the mutation and the research perspectives are discussed.</p></div>