Author(s): Bergonzi S, Albani MC, Ver Loren van Themaat E, Nordstrm KJ, Wang R,
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Abstract Perennial plants live for more than 1 year and flower only after an extended vegetative phase. We used Arabis alpina, a perennial relative of annual Arabidopsis thaliana, to study how increasing age and exposure to winter cold (vernalization) coordinate to establish competence to flower. We show that the APETALA2 transcription factor, a target of microRNA miR172, prevents flowering before vernalization. Additionally, miR156 levels decline as A. alpina ages, causing increased production of SPL (SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN LIKE) transcription factors and ensuring that flowering occurs in response to cold. The age at which plants respond to vernalization can be altered by manipulating miR156 levels. Although miR156 and miR172 levels are uncoupled in A. alpina, miR156 abundance represents the timer controlling age-dependent flowering responses to cold.
This article was published in Science
and referenced in Forest Research: Open Access