Plants flower in an appropriate season to allow sufficient vegetative development and position flower development in favorable environments. In Arabidopsis, CONSTANS (CO) and FLAVIN-BINDING KELCH REPEAT F-BOX1 (FKF1) promote flowering by inducing FLOWER LOCUS T (FT) expression in the long-day afternoon. The CO protein is present in the morning but could not activate FT expression due to unknown negative mechanisms, which prevent premature flowering before the day length reaches a threshold. Here, we report that TARGET OF EAT1 (TOE1) and related proteins interact with the activation domain of CO and CO-like (COL) proteins and inhibit CO activity. TOE1 binds to the FT promoter near the CO-binding site, and reducing TOE function results in a morning peak of the FT mRNA. In addition, TOE1 interacts with the LOVdomain of FKF1 and likely interferes with the FKF1–CO interaction, resulting in partial degradation of the CO protein in the afternoon to prevent premature flowering.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology