The Flowering Process: On the Track of Controlling Factors in Sinapis alba1

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The major physiological theories of the control of the flowering process are first presented and their inferences tested in the long-day plant Sinapis alba. Then, the genetic analyses of the control of flowering time in Arabidopsis thaliana are also summarized with a brief overview of the several pathways, each including several genes, identified. Clearly, both the experimental data of physiological experiments and the multiplicity of interacting genetic pathways best support the theory of the multifactorial control of flowering. This is further shown by the fact that a critical gene expressed in the shoot meristem at floral transition in S. alba, MADS A (orthologous to A. thaliana SOC1), can be upregulated by a single dose of a cytokinin or a gibberellin, without leading to flowering. This indicates that the floral shift requires upregulation of other genes by other factors.

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