J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2021, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (10): 1712-1723.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13144

Special Issue: Flowering Hormone signaling

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

ERF1 delays flowering through direct inhibition of FLOWERING LOCUS T expression in Arabidopsis

Yanli Chen1,2†, Liping Zhang1,3†, Haiyan Zhang1,3, Ligang Chen1,4* and Diqiu Yu1,5*   

  1. 1 CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resources and Sustainable Use, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla 666303, China
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3 Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
    4 Center of Economic Botany, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla 666303, China
    5 State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Bio‐Resources in Yunnan, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China

    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondences: Ligang Chen (chenligang@xtbg.ac.cn); Diqiu Yu (ydq@ynu.edu.cn, Dr. Yu is fully responsible for the distribution of the materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2021-02-06 Accepted:2021-06-17 Online:2021-06-21 Published:2021-10-01

Abstract: ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR1 (ERF1) is a key component in ethylene signaling, playing crucial roles in both biotic and abiotic stress responses. Here, we demonstrate that ERF1 also has an important role during floral initiation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Knockdown or knockout of ERF1 accelerated floral initiation, whereas overexpression of ERF1 dramatically delayed floral transition. These contrasting phenotypes were correlated with opposite transcript levels of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT). Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays revealed that ERF1 associates with genomic regions of the FT gene to repress its transcription. ft-10/ERF1RNAi plants showed a similar flowering phenotype to the ft-10 mutant, whereas the flowering of FTox/ERF1ox mimicked that of FTox plants, suggesting that ERF1 acts upstream of FT during floral initiation. Similarly, altered floral transition in ethylene-related mutants was also correlated with FT expression. Further analysis suggested that ERF1 also participates in delay in flowering-time control mediated by the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid. Thus, ERF1 may act as a negative modulator of flowering-time control by repressing FT transcription in Arabidopsis.

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