Why some plants flower in spring while others in summer
Washington, June 30 : Scientists have found out that why some plants flower in spring/autumn and some in summer.
A team of researchers from Warwick have isolated a gene responsible for regulating the expression of ‘Constans’, an important inducer of flowering, in Arabidopsis.
''Being able to understand and ultimately control seasonal flowering will enable more predictable flowering, better scheduling and reduced wastage of crops'', explained Dr Stephen Jackson, lead author of the study.
Though the relationship between ‘Constans’ and flowering time in response to day length is well established, the mechanism controlling the expression of ‘Constans’ is still not fully understood.
A flowering mutant of Arabidopsis, which had an altered response to photoperiod, was used in the study.
In the study, the team identified the defective gene in the mutant plant that caused its abnormal flowering time.
They then cloned a working version of the gene, known as Day ‘Neutral Flowering’ (DNF), from a normal Arabidopsis plant and introduced it into the mutant plant to restore its normal flowering response to day length.
The role of DNF in normal plant flowering is to regulate the ‘Constans’ gene.
‘Constans’ is activated only in the light and the plant is triggered to flower when ‘Constans’ levels rise above a certain threshold level during the daytime.
The presence of the DNF gene has not yet been identified in species other than Arabidopsis but the scientists believe their on-going work may prove to have a wider significance for other species.
Unravelling the complex pathways that control plant flowering will help scientists to understand and influence flowering patterns more effectively and in many different species.
The scientists presented their work at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Prague. (ANI)