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AbstractThe terminal of a cotton (Gossypium spp.) plant controls the growth of lower vegetative branches through the production of hormones. If the terminal is damaged then the lower vegetative branches will begin to grow and produce new mainstems. The objective of this study was to determine what delays, if any, are caused by damage to the terminal meristem. Three identical experiments (differing only by their planting date) were conducted in the greenhouse in which Upland (G. hirsutum L., var. DPL 5415) cotton was planted in 24 pots and allowed to grow until the majority of the plants reached the four true -leaf stage. At that point half of the plants had their terminals removed. Twice weekly series of plant measurements were recorded for each plant in the study. Measurements taken included the number of mainstem nodes, plant height, node of the first fruiting branch (FFB), days after terminal removal (DATR) until the appearance of the FFB, node of the first bloom, and DATR until the appearance of the first bloom were recorded. Removal of the terminal significantly increased the node of the FFB, the node of the first bloom, and the occurrence of each of these by 7 to 8 days. Regression analysis was used to model plant height and the accumulation of mainstem nodes as a function of DATR. Results showed that plants with terminals removed did reach the same height as the control group. However, the plants with their terminals removed never accumulated as many mainstem nodes as their counterparts in the control group.