J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2006, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (1): 27-34.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2006.00185.x

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

DELAYED FLOWERING, an Arabidopsis Gene That Acts in the Autonomous Flowering Promotion Pathway and Is Required for Normal Development

Ming-Jie Chen, Zheng Yuan and Hai Huang   

  • Published:2006-01-07

Abstract: The control of flowering time in higher plants is one of the most important physiological processes and is critical for their reproductive success. To investigate the mechanisms controlling flowering time, we screened for Arabidopsis mutants with late-flowering phenotypes. One mutant, designated delayed flowering (dfr) in the Landsberg erecta (Ler) ecotype, was identified with delayed flowering time. Genetic analysis revealed that dfr is a single gene recessive nuclear mutant and the mutation was mapped to a locus tightly linked to UFO on chromosome 1. To our knowledge, no gene regulating flowering time has been reported yet in this region. The dfr mutant plant showed a delayed flowering time under the different growth conditions examined, including long- and short-day photoperiods and gibberellic acid GA3 treatments, suggesting that DFR is a gene involved in the autonomous flowering promotion pathway. The Arabidopsis gene FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) plays a central role in repressing flowering and its transcripts are undetectable in wild-type Ler. However, FLC expression was upregulated in the dfr mutant, suggesting that DFR is a negative regulator of FLC. In addition, the dfr mutant plant displayed altered valve shapes of the silique and the number of trichomes and branches of each trichome were both reduced, indicating that the DRF gene is also required for normal plant development. Moreover, dfr leafy-5 (lfy-5) double mutant plants showed a much later flowering time than either dfr or lfy-5 single mutants, indicating that DFR and LFY act synergistically to promote flowering in Arabidopsis.(Author for correspondence.Tel: 021 5492 4088; Fax: 021 5492 4015; E-mail:hhuang@sippe.ac.cn)

Key words: Arabidopsis, autonomous pathway, dfr, flowering time, trichome.

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