Regulation of Temperature-Responsive Flowering by MADS-Box Transcription Factor Repressors

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Science  12 Sep 2013:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1241097

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Changes in ambient temperature affect flowering time in plants; understanding this phenomenon will be crucial for buffering agricultural systems from the effects of climate change. Here, we show that levels of FLM-β, an alternatively spliced form of the flowering repressor FLOWERING LOCUS M, increase at lower temperatures, repressing flowering. FLM-β interacts with SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP); SVP is degraded at high temperatures, reducing the abundance of the SVP-FLM-β repressor complex, and thus allowing the plant to flower. The svp and flm mutants show temperature-insensitive flowering in different temperature ranges. Control of SVP-FLM-β repressor complex abundance via transcriptional and splicing regulation of FLM and post-translational regulation of SVP protein stability provides an efficient, rapid mechanism for plants to respond to ambient temperature changes.

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