Specification of Arabidopsis floral meristem identity by repression of flowering time genes

Chang Liu, Jing Zhou, Keren Bracha-Drori, Shaul Yalovsky, Toshiro Ito, Hao Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flowering plants produce floral meristems in response to intrinsic and extrinsic flowering inductive signals. In Arabidopsis, the floral meristem identity genes LEAFY (LFY) and APETALA1 (AP1) are activated to play a pivotal role in specifying floral meristems during floral transition. We show here that the emerging floral meristems require AP1 to partly specify their floral identities by directly repressing a group of flowering time genes, including SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP), AGAMOUS-LIKE 24 (AGL24) and SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CO1 (SOC1). In wild-type plants, these flowering time genes are normally downregulated in emerging floral meristems. In the absence of AP1, these genes are ectopically expressed, transforming floral meristems into shoot meristems. By post-translational activation of an AP1-GR fusion protein and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, we further demonstrate the repression of these flowering time genes by induced AP1 activity and in vivo AP1 binding to the cis-regulatory regions of these genes. These findings indicate that once AP1 is activated during the floral transition, it acts partly as a master repressor in floral meristems by directly suppressing the expression of flowering time genes, thus preventing the continuation of the shoot developmental program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1901-1910
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Arabidopsis
  • Floral meristem identity
  • Flowering time gene
  • Transcriptional regulation


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