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Photoperiod sensing system for timing of flowering in plants

  • Lee, Byoung-Doo (Department of Plant Science, Plant Genomics and Breeding Institute, Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Cha, Joon-Yung (Division of Applied Life Science (BK21Plus), PMBBRC & IALS, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Kim, Mi Ri (Division of Applied Life Science (BK21Plus), PMBBRC & IALS, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Paek, Nam-Chon (Department of Plant Science, Plant Genomics and Breeding Institute, Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim, Woe-Yeon (Division of Applied Life Science (BK21Plus), PMBBRC & IALS, Gyeongsang National University)
  • Received : 2018.03.10
  • Published : 2018.04.30

Abstract

CONSTANS (CO) induces the expression of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) in the photoperiodic pathway, and thereby regulates the seasonal timing of flowering. CO expression is induced and CO protein is stabilized by FLAVIN-BINDING KELCH REPEAT F-BOX PROTEIN 1 (FKF1) in the late afternoon, while CO is degraded by CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1 (COP1) during the night. These regulatory cascades were thought to act independently. In our study, we investigated the relationship between FKF1 and COP1 in the regulation of CO stability in response to ambient light conditions. A genetic analysis revealed that FKF1 acts as a direct upstream negative regulator of COP1, in which cop1 mutation is epistatic to fkf1 mutation in the photoperiodic regulation of flowering. COP1 activity requires the formation of a hetero-tetramer with SUPPRESSOR OF PHYA-105 (SPA1), [$(COP1)_2(SPA1)_2$]. Light-activated FKF1 has an increased binding capacity for COP1, forming a FKF1-COP1 hetero-dimer, and inhibiting COP1 homo-dimerization at its coiled-coil (CC) domain. Mutations in the CC domain result in poor COP1 dimerization and misregulation of photoperiodic floral induction. We propose that FKF1 represses COP1 activity by inhibiting COP1 dimerization in the late afternoon under long-day conditions, resulting in early flowering.

Keywords

CONSTANS;COP1;Dimerization;FKF1;Photoperiod;Timing of flowering

Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), Rural Development Administration