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Genetics. 2005 Jul;170(3):1197-207. Epub 2005 May 23.

FRIGIDA-independent variation in flowering time of natural Arabidopsis thaliana accessions.

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Plant Biology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


FRIGIDA (FRI) and FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) are two genes that, unless plants are vernalized, greatly delay flowering time in Arabidopsis thaliana. Natural loss-of-function mutations in FRI cause the early flowering growth habits of many A. thaliana accessions. To quantify the variation among wild accessions due to FRI, and to identify additional genetic loci in wild accessions that influence flowering time, we surveyed the flowering times of 145 accessions in long-day photoperiods, with and without a 30-day vernalization treatment, and genotyped them for two common natural lesions in FRI. FRI is disrupted in at least 84 of the accessions, accounting for only approximately 40% of the flowering-time variation in long days. During efforts to dissect the causes for variation that are independent of known dysfunctional FRI alleles, we found new loss-of-function alleles in FLC, as well as late-flowering alleles that do not map to FRI or FLC. An FLC nonsense mutation was found in the early flowering Van-0 accession, which has otherwise functional FRI. In contrast, Lz-0 flowers late because of high levels of FLC expression, even though it has a deletion in FRI. Finally, eXtreme array mapping identified genomic regions linked to the vernalization-independent, late-flowering habit of Bur-0, which has an alternatively spliced FLC allele that behaves as a null allele.

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