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How plants produce flowers

How plants produce flowers

April, 2010

In a recent Science publication, researchers from the Netherlands Proteomics Center and Centre for BioSystems Genomics described an important gene that is required for flower development. When this gene and a second gene are mutated, plants stop making flowers, and instead, a massive over-proliferation of inflorescence meristems occurs. This leads to a cauliflower-like appearance.

The characterisation of the corresponding gene regulatory networks revealed that in the first few hours when the gene is active many genes involved in vegetative development and floral induction are down regulated, followed by a burst of gene activity, which is needed for the next developmental programme: the formation of the flower.

The researchers therefore discovered an important hub between the vegetative and floral development.

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