Author(s): Khan MR, Ai XY, Zhang JZ
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Abstract Flowering time plays a significant role in the reproductive success of plants. So far, five major pathways to flowering have been characterized in Arabidopsis, including environmental induction through photoperiod, vernalization, and gibberellins and autonomous floral iation, and aging by sequentially operating miRNAs (typically miR156 and miR172) responding to endogenous cues. The balance of signals from these pathways is integrated by a common set of genes (FLOWERING LOCUS C, FLOWERING LOCUS T, LEAFY, and SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1) that determine the flowering time. Recent studies have indicated that epigenetic modification, alternative splicing, antisense RNA and chromatin silencing regulatory mechanisms play an important role in this process by regulating related flowering gene expression. In this review, we discuss the current understanding in genetic regulation of the phase transition from vegetative to reproductive growth by using Arabidopsis as a model. We also describe how this knowledge has been successfully applied for identifying homologous genes from perennial crops. Furthermore, detailed analysis of the similarities and differences between annual and perennial plants flowering will help elucidate the mechanisms of perennial plant maturation and regulation of floral initiation. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This article was published in Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA
and referenced in Forest Research: Open Access