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Plant J. 2007 Jun;50(6):1049-62. Epub 2007 May 3.

mRNA metabolism of flowering-time regulators in wild-type Arabidopsis revealed by a nuclear cap binding protein mutant, abh1.

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1
Division of Biological Sciences, Center for Molecular Genetics, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0116, USA.

Abstract

The precise regulation of RNA metabolism has crucial roles in numerous developmental and physiological processes such as the induction of flowering in plants. Here we report the identification of processes associated with mRNA metabolism of flowering-time regulators in wild-type Arabidopsis plants, which were revealed by an early flowering mutation, abh1, in an Arabidopsis nuclear mRNA cap-binding protein. By using abh1 as an enhancer of mRNA metabolism events, we identify non-coding polyadenylated cis natural antisense transcripts (cis-NATs) at the CONSTANS locus in wild-type plants. Our analyses also reveal a regulatory function of FLC intron 1 during transcript maturation in wild type. Moreover, transcripts encoding the FLM MADS box transcription factor are subject to premature intronic polyadenylation in wild type. In each case, abh1 showed altered patterns in RNA metabolism in these events compared with wild type. Together, abh1 enhances steps in the RNA metabolism that allowed us to identify novel molecular events of three key flowering-time regulators in wild-type plants, delivering important insights for further dissecting RNA-based mechanisms regulating flowering time in Arabidopsis.

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