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Photoperiod is one of the most reliable environmental cues for plants to regulate flowering timing. In Arabidopsis thaliana, CONSTANS (CO) transcription factor plays a central role in regulating photoperiodic flowering. In contrast to posttranslational regulation of CO protein, still little was known about CO transcriptional regulation. Here we show that the CINCINNATA (CIN) clade of class II TEOSINTE BRANCHED 1/ CYCLOIDEA/ PROLIFERATING CELL NUCLEAR ANTIGEN FACTOR (TCP) proteins act as CO activators. Our yeast one-hybrid analysis revealed that class II CIN-TCPs, including TCP4, bind to the CO promoter. TCP4 induces CO expression around dusk by directly associating with the CO promoter in vivo. In addition, TCP4 binds to another flowering regulator, GIGANTEA (GI), in the nucleus, and induces CO expression in a GI-dependent manner. The physical association of TCP4 with the CO promoter was reduced in the gi mutant, suggesting that GI may enhance the DNA-binding ability of TCP4. Our tandem affinity purification coupled with mass spectrometry (TAP-MS) analysis identified all class II CIN-TCPs as the components of the in vivo TCP4 complex, and the gi mutant did not alter the composition of the TCP4 complex. Taken together, our results demonstrate a novel function of CIN-TCPs as photoperiodic flowering regulators, which may contribute to coordinating plant development with flowering regulation.


Akane Kubota, Shogo Ito, Jae Sung Shim, Richard S Johnson, Yong Hun Song, Ghislain Breton, Greg S Goralogia, Michael S Kwon, Dianne Laboy Cintrón, Tomotsugu Koyama, Masaru Ohme-Takagi, Jose L Pruneda-Paz, Steve A Kay, Michael J MacCoss, Takato Imaizumi. TCP4-dependent induction of CONSTANS transcription requires GIGANTEA in photoperiodic flowering in Arabidopsis. PLoS genetics. 2017 Jun;13(6):e1006856

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PMID: 28628608

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