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Dev Cell. 2019 Jul 1;50(1):90-101.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.05.018. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Molecular Basis of Natural Variation in Photoperiodic Flowering Responses.

Author information

1
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543, Singapore.
2
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543, Singapore; Hubei Key Laboratory of Genetic Regulation and Integrative Biology, School of Life Sciences, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China.
3
Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117604, Singapore.
4
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543, Singapore; Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117604, Singapore. Electronic address: dbsyuhao@nus.edu.sg.

Abstract

Plants exhibit different flowering behaviors in response to variable photoperiods across a wide geographical range. Here, we identify MYC3, a bHLH transcription factor, and its cis-element form the long-sought regulatory module responsible for cis-regulatory changes at the florigen gene FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) that mediate natural variation in photoperiodic flowering responses in Arabidopsis. MYC3 is stabilized by DELLAs in the gibberellin pathway to suppress FT through binding the ACGGAT motif and antagonizing CONSTANS (CO) activation. Changing photoperiods modulate the relative abundance of MYC3 and CO, thus determining either of them as the predominant regulator for FT expression under different day lengths. Cis-regulatory changes in the MYC3 binding site at FT are associated with natural variation in day-length requirement for flowering in Arabidopsis accessions. Our findings reveal that environmental and developmental signals converge at MYC3 suppression of FT, an elementary event underlying natural variation in photoperiodic flowering responses.

KEYWORDS:

Arabidopsis; FT; MYC3; cis-regulatory changes; florigen; flowering time; gibberellin; natural variation; photoperiod; transcription factor

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