Editors' ChoicePlant biology

Say It with Flowers, CONSTANS(ly)

Science's STKE  06 Jun 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 35, pp. tw5
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.35.tw5

In order to better understand the transition from vegetative growth to flowering, Samach et al. investigated genes directly regulated by the gene CONSTANS (CO), itself known to promote flowering of Arabidopsis in response to longer days. With the use of a conditional overexpression system, four genes were identified that are directly regulated by CO. Of these four genes, FT and SOC1 are regulated by a balance of CO and FLC activity. The other two genes affect patterns of development in the stem and the flower. Thus, a network of regulatory pathways is revealed that not only promotes development of floral structures but that also integrates day length, response to chilling, and age of the plant into the ultimate developmental decision of when to begin flowering. Devlin and Kay provide a perspective on the research.

Samach, A., Onouchi, H., Gold, S.E., Ditta, G.S., Schwarz-Sommer, Z., Yanofsky, M.F., and Coupland, G. (2000) Distinct roles of CONSTANS target genes in reproductive development of Arabidopsis. Science 288: 1613-1616. [Abstract] [Full Text]

Devlin, P.F., and Kay, S.A. (2000) Plant biology: Flower arranging in Arabidopsis. Science 288: 1600-1602. Yes [Full Text]