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Genetics. 1998 Feb;148(2):885-92.

Genetic interactions among late-flowering mutants of Arabidopsis.

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Laboratory of Genetics, Graduate School Experimental Plant Sciences, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands.


Flowering time in Arabidopsis is controlled by a large number of genes, identified by induced mutations. Forty-two double mutants involving 10 of these loci were obtained and analyzed for their flowering behavior under long-day conditions, with and without vernalization, and under short-day conditions. The genetic interactions between the various mutants proved to be complex, although a major epistatic group (called group A) could be identified corresponding to the mutants, which are relatively insensitive to vernalization and daylength. In contrast, the genetic behavior of the mutants much more responsive to these environmental factors (group B) is more complex. The vernalization responsiveness of the group B mutants did not compensate for the lateness of the group A mutants. This indicated that these genes do not control vernalization sensitivity as such, but provide a factor that becomes limiting in short days. The classification of these mutants in different physiological groups is discussed in relation to the detected genetic interactions, and based on these interactions a more detailed model of their role in flowering initiation is proposed.

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