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Establishment of the Vernalization-Responsive, Winter-Annual Habit in Arabidopsis Requires a

Summary: Establishment of the Vernalization-Responsive,
Winter-Annual Habit in Arabidopsis Requires a
Putative Histone H3 Methyl Transferase W
Sang Yeol Kim,a Yuehui He,b Yannick Jacob,a Yoo-Sun Noh,b,1 Scott Michaels,a,b and Richard Amasinob,2
a Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405
b Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Winter-annual accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana are often characterized by a requirement for exposure to the cold of
winter to initiate flowering in the spring. The block to flowering prior to cold exposure is due to high levels of the flowering
repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). Exposure to cold promotes flowering through a process known as vernalization that
epigenetically represses FLC expression. Rapid-cycling accessions typically have low levels of FLC expression and
therefore do not require vernalization. A screen for mutants in which a winter-annual Arabidopsis is converted to a rapid-
cycling type has identified a putative histone H3 methyl transferase that is required for FLC expression. Lesions in this
methyl transferase, EARLY FLOWERING IN SHORT DAYS (EFS), result in reduced levels of histone H3 Lys 4 trimethylation
in FLC chromatin. EFS is also required for expression of other genes in the FLC clade, such as MADS AFFECTING
FLOWERING2 and FLOWERING LOCUS M. The requirement for EFS to permit expression of several FLC clade genes
accounts for the ability of efs lesions to suppress delayed flowering due to the presence of FRIGIDA, autonomous pathway
mutations, or growth in noninductive photoperiods. efs mutants exhibit pleiotropic phenotypes, indicating that the role of
EFS is not limited to the regulation of flowering time.
In plants, successful reproduction is dependent on flowering


Source: Amasino, Richard M. - Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin at Madison


Collections: Biology and Medicine