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Genetics. 1998 Sep;150(1):403-10.

Flowering-time genes modulate the response to LEAFY activity.

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Plant Biology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Among the genes that control the transition to flowering in Arabidopsis is a large group whose inactivation causes a delay in flowering. It has been difficult to establish different pathways in which the flowering-time genes might act, because mutants with lesions in these genes have very similar phenotypes. Among the putative targets of the flowering-time genes is another group of genes, which control the identity of individual meristems. Overexpression of one of the meristem-identity genes, LEAFY, can cause the precocious generation of flowers and thus early flowering. We have exploited the opposite phenotypes seen in late-flowering mutants and LEAFY overexpressers to clarify the genetic interactions between flowering-time genes and LEAFY. According to epistatic relationships, we can define one class of flowering-time genes that affects primarily the response to LEAFY activity, and another class of genes that affects primarily the transcriptional induction of LEAFY. These observations allow us to expand previously proposed models for the genetic control of flowering time.

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