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Plant Physiol. 2001 Sep;127(1):252-61.

Effects of sugar on vegetative development and floral transition in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Division of Developmental Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, Myodaiji-cho, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan.


Although sugar has been suggested to promote floral transition in many plant species, growth on high concentrations (5% [w/v]) of sucrose (Suc) significantly delayed flowering time, causing an increase in the number of leaves at the time of flowering in Arabidopsis. The effect of high concentrations of Suc seemed to be metabolic rather than osmotic. The delay of floral transition was due to extension of the late vegetative phase, which resulted in a delayed activation of LFY expression. In addition, growth on low concentrations (1% [w/v]) of Suc slightly inhibited flowering in wild-type plants. This delay resulted from effects on the early vegetative phase. This inhibition was more pronounced in tfl1, an early flowering mutant, than in the wild type. Although 1% (w/v) Suc was reported to promote floral transition of late-flowering mutants such as co, fca, and gi, floral transition in these mutants was delayed by a further increase in Suc concentration. These results suggest that sugar may affect floral transition by activating or inhibiting genes that act to control floral transition, depending on the concentration of sugars, the genetic background of the plants, and when the sugar is introduced. Growth on 1% (w/v) Suc did not restore the reduced expression levels of FT and SOC1/AGL20 in co or fca mutants. Rather, expression of FT and SOC1/AGL20 was repressed by 1% (w/v) Suc in wild-type background. The possible effects of sugar on gene expression to promote floral transition are discussed.

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