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Mol Plant. 2009 Jul;2(4):628-42. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssp031.

From decision to commitment: the molecular memory of flowering.

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Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Carl von Linné Weg 10, 50829 Köln, Germany.


During the floral transition the shoot apical meristem changes its identity from a vegetative to an inflorescence state. This change in identity can be promoted by external signals, such as inductive photoperiod conditions or vernalization, and is accompanied by changes in expression of key developmental genes. The change in meristem identity is usually not reversible, even if the inductive signal occurs only transiently. This implies that at least some of the key genes must possess an intrinsic memory of the newly acquired expression state that ensures irreversibility of the process. In this review, we discuss different molecular scenarios that may underlie a molecular memory of gene expression.

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