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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2012 Feb;15(1):45-50. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2011.09.002. Epub 2011 Oct 3.

The end of innocence: flowering networks explode in complexity.

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Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Department of Molecular Biology, Spemannstrasse 37-39, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Substantial recent advances in genome-scale transcription factor target mapping have provided a fresh view of the gene networks governing developmental transitions. In particular, our understanding of the fine-scale spatial and temporal dynamics underlying the floral transition at the shoot apex has seen great advances in the past two years. Single transcription factors are regularly observed to act in complex manners, directly promoting the expression of particular targets while directly repressing the expression of others, based at least partly on defined heterodimerization patterns. For single regulators this behavior reaches into distinct physiological processes, providing compelling evidence that particular transcription factors act to directly integrate diverse processes to orchestrate complex developmental transitions.

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