An international team of researchers discovered that the gene FT, which controls the transition to flowering during spring, could alter the behavior of Arabidopsis plants in natural environments. The results published in Nature Plants have implications for the artificial growing conditions scientists usually apply in the lab.

 

The researchers, led by Takato Imaizumi from the University of Washington, reported that FT has a peak of activity in the morning, leading up to the transition to flowering, which was not observed previously in Arabidopsis. The morning peak of activity of FT leads the plants to transition earlier from vegetative growth to flowering.

 

"Previous research on FT activity in Arabidopsis showed that there is a peak of activity in the evening, not the morning," said Imaizumi. "We show definitively that there is a peak of morning activity — and we think we know why this morning peak was not seen previously in the research laboratory," she explained.

 

Read more from the University of Washington.