Stage 4 - Panicle initiation to booting

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The initiation of the panicle primordium at the tip of the growing shoot marks the start of the reproductive phase. The panicle primordium becomes visible to the naked eye about 10 days after initiation. At this stage, 3 leaves will still emerge before the panicle finally emerges.



In short-duration varieties, the panicle becomes visible as a white feathery cone 1.0-1.5 mm long. It occurs first in the main culm and then in tillers where it emerges in uneven pattern. It can be seen by dissecting the stem.



As the panicle continues to develop, the spikelets become distinguishable.



The young panicle increases in size and its upward extension inside the flag leaf sheath causes the leaf sheath t bulge. This bulging of the flag leaf sheath is called booting.



Booting is most likely to occur first in the main culm.



At booting, senescence (aging and dying) of leaves and nonbearing tillers are noticeable at the base of the plant.