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Long-sought flower-inducing molecule found

enger molecule

A research group led by Professor Ove Nilsson at the Umeå Plant Science Centre at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences has now identified a "messenger molecule" that fulfills all the classical properties of Florigen. A gene called "FT" produces the "messenger molecule". This gene is active in leaves and its activity is controlled by the length of the day. When the gene is activated, a messenger molecule is produced that is transported to the shoot tips where it very efficiently induces the "gene programs" that control the formation of flowers. These groundbreaking results are published "online" on Aug 11 in the international journal Science. Together with other data published at the same time, it shows convincingly that the "messenger molecule" produced by FT either is florigen, or an important component of florigen.

The researchers have used the small plant model species Arabidopsis in their research. But the group of Ove Nilsson has also other data showing that these results can be directly applied to other species, such as poplar trees. Ove Nilsson says: "With the help of this knowledge plant breeders will get a new tool to control and adopt the flowering of plants, something that has been of great importance for agriculture but that can also lead to the development of efficient tree breeding for forestry".


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Source:Swedish Research Council


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