FLOWERING LOCUS T3 controls spikelet initiation but not floral development (Plant Physiol)

FT encodes a mobile protein that carries a flower-promoting signal to the shoot apical meristem. In most plants, the FT gene has duplicated and diversified. Mulki et al. investigated the function of FT3 (HvFT3) in barley. Prior work showed that overexpression of HvFT1 accellerated the initiation and development of flowers. By contrast, HvFT3 overexpression accelerated flowering time in plants grown in long days but not short days, and although the timing of floral initiation was accelerated, floral development itself was not accelerated, indicating that HvFT3 is functionally distinct from HvFT1. The authors carried out a transcriptomic study of the HvFT3 overexpressing plants and found differential expression of several genes involved in floral initiation, flower development and spike architecture. (Summary by Mary Williams) Plant Physiol. 10.1104/pp.18.00236