The axillary bud (or lateral bud ) is an embryonic or organogenic shoot located in the axil of a leaf . Each bud has the potential to form a seedling , and may be specialized in producing either vegetative shoots (stem and branches) or reproductive shoots ( flowers ). Once formed, a bud may remain dormant for some time, or it may immediately produce a shoot.
The axillary bud is an embryonic or organogenic shoot that lies dormant at the junction of the stem and petiole of the plant .  : 18 It arises exogenously from the outer layer of the cortex of the stem.
On plants with strong apical dominance (the tendency to grow only the terminal bud on the main stem) the axillary buds do not become actively growing shoots. Apical dominance occurs because the shoot apical meristem produces auxin which prevents the growth of axillary buds. Axillary buds develop when exposed to less auxin, for example if the plant naturally has weak apical dominance, if apical dominance is broken by removing the terminal bud, or if the terminal bud is too far apart for auxin Has less than effect.
Axillary buds can be used to differentiate if the plant is single-leafed or multi-leafed. Just count the number of leaves after an axillary bud. If there is only one leaf, the plant is considered to be single-leafed, if not then it is considered to be multiple-leafed.
An example of axillary buds are potato eyes.
Effects of auxin
As the apical meristem grows and forms leaves , it leaves behind an area of meristem cells at the node between the stem and the leaf. These axillary buds are usually dormant, inhibited by auxin produced by the apical meristem, known as apical dominance .
If the apical meristem is removed, or has grown at a sufficient distance from an axillary bud, the axillary bud may be activated (or more appropriately free of hormone inhibition). Like the apical meristem, axillary buds may develop into a stem or flower.
Diseases that affect the axillary buds
Some plant diseases – particularly phytoplasmas – can cause proliferation of axillary buds, and the plants may become bushier in appearance.