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Plant Cell. 2004 Mar;16(3):731-40. Epub 2004 Feb 18.

A new Arabidopsis gene, FLK, encodes an RNA binding protein with K homology motifs and regulates flowering time via FLOWERING LOCUS C.

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Graduate School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.


Posttranscriptional RNA metabolism plays versatile roles in the regulation of gene expression during eukaryotic growth and development. It is mediated by a group of RNA binding proteins with distinct conserved motifs. In this study, an Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) gene, designated FLK, was identified and shown to encode a putative RNA binding protein with K homology motifs. A mutant in which FLK was inactivated by T-DNA insertion exhibited a severe late flowering phenotype both in long and short days. The late flowering phenotype was reversed by gibberellin and vernalization treatments. The FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) transcription was greatly upregulated, whereas those of FLOWERING LOCUS T and SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS1 decreased in the mutant. These observations demonstrate that FLK regulates the autonomous flowering pathway via FLC. It is now evident that a battery of different RNA binding proteins are involved in the posttranscriptional regulation of flowering time in Arabidopsis.

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