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    Many plant species monitor and respond to changes in day length (photoperiod) for aligning reproduction with a favourable season. Day length is measured in leaves and, when appropriate, leads to the production of floral stimuli called florigens that are transmitted to the shoot apical meristem to initiate inflorescence development1. Rice possesses two florigens encoded by HEADING DATE 3a (Hd3a) and RICE FLOWERING LOCUS T 1 (RFT1)2. Here we show that the arrival of Hd3a and RFT1 at the shoot apical meristem activates FLOWERING LOCUS T-LIKE 1 (FT-L1), encoding a florigen-like protein that shows features partially differentiating it from typical florigens. FT-L1 potentiates the effects of Hd3a and RFT1 during the conversion of the vegetative meristem into an inflorescence meristem and organizes panicle branching by imposing increasing determinacy to distal meristems. A module comprising Hd3a, RFT1 and FT-L1 thus enables the initiation and balanced progression of panicle development towards determinacy. © 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.


    Francesca Giaume, Giulia Ave Bono, Damiano Martignago, Yiling Miao, Giulio Vicentini, Taiyo Toriba, Rui Wang, Dali Kong, Martina Cerise, Daniele Chirivì, Marco Biancucci, Bahman Khahani, Piero Morandini, Wladimir Tameling, Michela Martinotti, Daniela Goretti, George Coupland, Martin Kater, Vittoria Brambilla, Daisuke Miki, Junko Kyozuka, Fabio Fornara. Two florigens and a florigen-like protein form a triple regulatory module at the shoot apical meristem to promote reproductive transitions in rice. Nature plants. 2023 Apr;9(4):525-534

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    PMID: 36973415

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