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A key floral activator, FT, integrates stimuli from long-day, vernalization, and autonomous pathways and triggers flowering by directly regulating floral meristem identity genes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Since a small amount of FT transcript is sufficient for flowering, the FT level is strictly regulated by diverse genes. In this study, we show that WEREWOLF (WER), a MYB transcription factor regulating root hair pattern, is another regulator of FT. The mutant wer flowers late in long days but normal in short days and shows a weak sensitivity to vernalization, which indicates that WER controls flowering time through the photoperiod pathway. The expression and double mutant analyses showed that WER modulates FT transcript level independent of CONSTANS and FLOWERING LOCUS C. The histological analysis of WER shows that it is expressed in the epidermis of leaves, where FT is not expressed. Consistently, WER regulates not the transcription but the stability of FT mRNA. Our results reveal a novel regulatory mechanism of FT that is non cell autonomous.

Citation

Eunjoo Seo, Jihyeon Yu, Kook Hui Ryu, Myeong Min Lee, Ilha Lee. WEREWOLF, a regulator of root hair pattern formation, controls flowering time through the regulation of FT mRNA stability. Plant physiology. 2011 Aug;156(4):1867-77

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PMID: 21653190

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