Editors' ChoicePlant biology

The Message Is the Messenger

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Science's STKE  13 Sep 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 301, pp. tw332
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3012005tw332

As the days lengthen in spring and summer, plants sense the hours of daylight in their leaves and respond by initiating flowering at the top of the plant, in the shoot apex. The identity of the signal that is transported from the leaf to the apex has been unclear (see Wigge et al., Abe et al., and the Perspective by Blázquez in the 12 August issue). Huang et al. now show that local expression of the gene FT (FLOWERING LOCUS T) in a single leaf is sufficient to cause flowering by transfecting a heat-inducible form of FT into Arabidopsis plants. Within 6 hours of stimulating a single leaf, FT messenger RNA (mRNA) appears in the shoot apex, where it stimulates transcription of genes involved in flowering and of FT itself. Although other elements may be involved, FT mRNA is an important component of the floral stimulus that moves from leaf to shoot in response to increases in day length.

P. A. Wigge, M. C. Kim, K. E. Jaeger, W. Busch, M. Schmid, J. U. Lohmann, D. Weigel, Integration of spatial and temporal information during floral induction in Arabidopsis. Science 309, 1056-1059 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]

M. Abe, Y. Kobayashi, S. Yamamoto, Y. Daimon, A. Yamaguchi, Y. Ikeda, H. Ichinoki, M. Notaguchi, K. Goto, T. Araki, FD, a bZIP protein mediating signals from the floral pathway integrator FT at the shoot apex. Science 309, 1052-1056 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]

M. A. Blázquez, The right time and place for making flowers. Science 309, 1024-1025 (2005). [Summary] [Full Text]

T. Huang, H. Böhlenius, S. Eriksson, F. Parcy, O. Nilsson, The mRNA of the Arabidopsis gene FT moves from leaf to shoot apex and induces flowering. Science 309, 1694-1696 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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