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Regulation of Flowering Time by Histone Acetylation in Arabidopsis

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Science  05 Dec 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5651, pp. 1751-1754
DOI: 10.1126/science.1091109

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Abstract

The Arabidopsis autonomous floral-promotion pathway promotes flowering independently of the photoperiod and vernalization pathways by repressing FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), a MADS-boxtranscription factor that blocks the transition from vegetative to reproductive development. Here, we report that FLOWERING LOCUS D (FLD), one of sixgenes in the autonomous pathway, encodes a plant homolog of a protein found in histone deacetylase complexes in mammals. Lesions in FLD result in hyperacetylation of histones in FLC chromatin, up-regulation of FLC expression, and extremely delayed flowering. Thus, the autonomous pathway regulates flowering in part by histone deacetylation. However, not all autonomous-pathway mutants exhibit FLC hyperacetylation, indicating that multiple means exist by which this pathway represses FLC expression.

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