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Plant Mol Biol. 2013 Jan;81(1-2):57-69. doi: 10.1007/s11103-012-9982-2. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Functional analysis of splice variant expression of MADS AFFECTING FLOWERING 2 of Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Biology, Western University, London, ON N6A 5B8, Canada.


The MADS-AFFECTING FLOWERING 2 (MAF2) gene of Arabidopsis thaliana has been characterized as a repressor of flowering. The molecular basis of MAF2 gene function and role of alternative MAF2 transcripts in flowering time modulation is not understood. MAF2 splice variant expression was quantified in cold-acclimated plants by quantitative RT-PCR. Cold influenced the abundance of splice variants and prompted a functional study of splice forms. Individual variants were overexpressed in the Col background and were assayed for their ability to delay flowering. Overexpression of MAF2 variants 2 and 4 had limited effect on flowering time. Overexpression of MAF2 splice variant 1 resulted in early flowering and affected the expression of the endogenous MAF2 gene and its paralogues, confounding functional assessment. In the Ll-2 Arabidopsis accession, a MAF2, MAF3, MAF4 and FLC null line, MAF2 var1 was consistent in its effect on reproductive delay under ambient and reduced temperatures, indicating that it acts as a repressor of flowering.

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