Author(s): Wang JW, Czech B, Weigel D
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Abstract The FT gene integrates several external and endogenous cues controlling flowering, including information on day length. A complex of the mobile FT protein and the bZIP transcription factor FD in turn has a central role in activating genes that execute the switch from vegetative to reproductive development. Here we reveal that microRNA156-targeted SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE (SPL) genes not only act downstream of FT/FD, but also define a separate endogenous flowering pathway. High levels of miR156 in young plants prevent precocious flowering. A subsequent day length-independent decline in miR156 abundance provides a permissive environment for flowering and is paralleled by a rise in SPL levels. At the shoot apex, FT/FD and SPLs converge on an overlapping set of targets, with SPLs directly activating flower-promoting MADS box genes, providing a molecular substrate for both the redundant activities and the feed-forward action of the miR156/SPL and FT/FD modules in flowering control.
This article was published in Cell
and referenced in Forest Research: Open Access