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Science 339 (6120): 659-660

Copyright © 2013 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Jack of All Trades, Master of Flowering

Jonas Å. H. Danielson, and Wolf B. Frommer

Artists and scientists have long pondered the beauty and mystery of flowers and their origins. To Maurice Maeterlinck, the Nobel laureate in literature, the most striking feature of plants was the diversity of flowers, organs that evolved to enhance sexual reproduction (1). Charles Darwin was fascinated with the rapid expansion and dominance of flowering plants (angiosperms) in the late Cretaceous, a phenomenon he called "the abominable mystery" (2). Along with the evolution of flowers came the need for plants to trigger flowering at the right time. On page 704 of this issue, Wahl et al. report that an internal cue—the sugar metabolite trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P)—helps to ensure that flowering occurs at the time optimal for successful reproduction (3).

Carnegie Institution for Science, 260 Panama Street, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

E-mail: wfrommer{at}

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