Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Sci. Signal., 7 August 2012
Vol. 5, Issue 236, p. ec210
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003469]


Plant Biology Is Winter Past?

Pamela J. Hines

Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA

Some plants are adapted to wait through the winter before their genetic programs for flowering are initiated. But the duration of winter varies with location; thus, to avoid flowering too late into the summer or exposing blossoms to frost, the adaptation needs to hold the flowers off for just the right amount of time. Working with Arabidopsis thaliana, Coustham et al. identified a quantitative mechanism that "counts" off the duration of winter. FLC, a repressor of flowering, carries sequence polymorphisms that direct epigenetic events. Plants with fewer of these polymorphisms are adapted to short winters, and plants with all four polymorphisms are adapted to long winters.

V. Coustham, P. Li, A. Strange, C. Lister, J. Song, C. Dean, Quantitative modulation of polycomb silencing underlies natural variation in vernalization. Science 337, 584–587 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: P. J. Hines, Is Winter Past? Sci. Signal. 5, ec210 (2012).

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882