The GIGANTEA-regulated microRNA172 mediates photoperiodic flowering independent of CONSTANS in Arabidopsis
- Jung, Jae-Hoon; Seo, Yeon-Hee; Seo, Pil Joon; Reyes, Jose Luis; Yun, Ju; Chua, Nam-Hai; Park, Chung-Mo
- Issue Date
- Plant Cell, Vol.19 No.9, pp.2736-2748
- Regulated RNA metabolism appears to be a critical component of molecular mechanisms directing flowering initiation in plants. A group of RNA binding proteins exerts their roles through the autonomous flowering pathway. Posttranscriptional mechanisms regulated by microRNAs ( miRNAs) also play a key role in flowering-time control. Here, we demonstrate that the GIGANTEA (GI)-regulated miR172 defines a unique genetic pathway that regulates photoperiodic flowering by inducing FLOWERING LOCUS T ( FT) independent of CONSTANS ( CO). A late-flowering mutant in which a miR172 target gene, TARGET OFEAT1, is constitutively activated by the nearby insertion of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S enhancer normally responded to vernalization and gibberellic acid treatments. By contrast, its response to daylength changes was severely disrupted. In the mutant, FT was significantly repressed, but other flowering genes were unaffected. Notably, miR172 abundance is regulated by photoperiod via GI-mediated miRNA processing. Accordingly, miR172-overproducing plants exhibit early flowering under both long days and short days, even in the absence of functional CO, indicating that miR172 promotes photoperiodic flowering through a CO-independent genetic pathway. Therefore, it appears that GI-mediated photoperiodic flowering is governed by the coordinated interaction of two distinct genetic pathways: one mediated via CO and the other mediated via miR172 and its targets.
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