Robust control of the seasonal expression of the Arabidopsis FLC gene in a fluctuating environment

Shinichiro Aikawa, Masaki J. Kobayashi, Akiko Satake, Kentaro K. Shimizu, Hiroshi Kudoh

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127 Citations (Scopus)


Plants flower in particular seasons even in natural, fluctuating environments. The molecular basis of temperature-dependent flowering-time regulation has been extensively studied, but little is known about how gene expression is controlled in natural environments. Without a memory of past temperatures, it would be difficult for plants to detect seasons in natural, noisy environments because temperature changes occurring within a few weeks are often inconsistent with seasonal trends.Our 2-y census of the expression of a temperature-dependent flowering-time gene, AhgFLC, in a natural population of perennial Arabidopsis halleri revealed that the regulatory system of this flowering-time gene extracts seasonal cues as if it memorizes temperatures over the past 6 wk. Time-series analysis revealed that as much as 83% of the variation in the AhgFLC expression is explained solely by the temperature for the previous 6wk, but not by the temperatures over shorter or longer periods. The accuracy of our model in predicting the gene expression pattern under contrasting temperature regimes in the transplant experiments indicates that such modeling incorporating the molecular bases of flowering time regulation will contribute to predicting plant responses to future climate changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11632-11637
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - Jun 22 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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