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Cell. 2009 Aug 21;138(4):738-49. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.06.014.

miR156-regulated SPL transcription factors define an endogenous flowering pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.

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.

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PMID:
19703399
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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