Plant biology

Controlling When to Make Flowers

Science's STKE  09 Dec 2003:
Vol. 2003, Issue 212, pp. tw482-TW482
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2122003TW482

Flowering time in plants is regulated in part by environmental cues, such as changes in day length, but plants may also begin to flower under direction from their autonomous regulatory pathway. He et al. (see the Perspective by Bastow and Dean) have now shown that one of the autonomous pathway genes, flowering locus D (FLD), is a homolog of a protein found in mammalian histone deacetylase complexes. FLD helps to regulate the acetylation status of the chromatin around the flowering locus C (FLC) gene, which encodes a transcription factor that blocks the floral transition. FLD-induced deacetylation of FLC increases its expression and leads to an extreme delay in flowering time.

Y. He, S. D. Michaels, R. M. Amasino, Regulation of flowering time by histone acetylation in Arabidopsis. Science 302, 1751-1754 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]

R. Bastow, C. Dean, Deciding when to flower. Science 302, 1695-1696 (2003). [Summary] [Full Text]