Feedback regulation of COOLAIR expression controls seed dormancy and flowering time ($)

FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) are proteins required for seasonal sensing in plants. Specifically, FLC and FT control seed dormancy and flowering time. In the control of flowering time, FLC expression is regulated by the prolonged-cold induction of antisense transcripts at FLC known as COOLAIR, which facilitate FLC silencing. Previously Chen et al. showed that maternal expression of FLC and FT transmits environmental information to developing seeds and therefore influence the seeds’ dormancy.  Chen and Penfield studied how FT controls seed dormancy. Although FLC has been shown to act upstream of FT in the flowering time response, the authors found that in terms of seed dormancy FLC acts downstream of FT. In seed development and dormancy, warm temperatures suppress FLC expression and this response is mediated by FT. The authors conclude that, “in Arabidopsis the same genes controlled in opposite format regulate flowering time and seed dormancy in response to the temperature changes that characterize seasons.” (Summary by Verónica López Santoy and Maria Julissa Ek-Ramos) Science 10.1126/science.aar7361.

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