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Trends Plant Sci. 2007 Aug;12(8):352-7. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

The molecular basis of vernalization-induced flowering in cereals.

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CSIRO Division of Plant Industry, PO Box 1600, ACT 2601, Australia.


Genetic analyses have identified three genes that control the vernalization requirement in wheat and barley; VRN1, VRN2 and FT (VRN3). These genes have now been isolated and shown to regulate not only the vernalization response but also the promotion of flowering by long days. VRN1 is induced by vernalization and accelerates the transition to reproductive development at the shoot apex. FT is induced by long days and further accelerates reproductive apex development. VRN2, a floral repressor, integrates vernalization and day-length responses by repressing FT until plants are vernalized. A comparison of flowering time pathways in cereals and Arabidopsis shows that the vernalization response is controlled by different MADS box genes, but integration of vernalization and long-day responses occurs through similar mechanisms.

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