CONSTANS (CO) regulates flowering time by positively regulating expression of two floral integrators, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CO 1 (SOC1), in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). FT and SOC1 have been proposed to act in parallel pathways downstream of CO based on genetic analysis using weak ft alleles, since ft soc1 double mutants showed an additive effect in suppressing the early flowering of CO overexpressor plants. However, this genetic analysis was inconsistent with the sequential induction pattern of FT and SOC1 found in inducible CO overexpressor plants. Hence, to identify genetic interactions of CO, FT, and SOC1, we carried out genetic and expression analyses with a newly isolated T-DNA allele of FT, ft-10. We found that ft-10 almost completely suppressed the early flowering phenotype of CO overexpressor plants, whereas soc1-2 partially suppressed the phenotype, suggesting that FT is the major output of CO. Expression of SOC1 was altered in gain- or loss-of-function mutants of FT, whereas expression of FT remained unchanged in gain- or loss-of-function mutants of SOC1, suggesting that FT positively regulates SOC1 to promote flowering. In addition, inactivation of FT caused down-regulation of SOC1 even in plants overexpressing CO, indicating that FT is required for SOC1 induction by CO. Taken together, these data suggest that CO activates SOC1 through FT to promote flowering in Arabidopsis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science