Recent Advances in Flowering Time Control
Maria von Korff
The onset of flowering is an important step during the lifetime of a flowering plant. During the past two decades, there has been enormous progress in our understanding of how internal and external (environmental) cues control the transition to reproductive growth in plants. Many flowering time regulators have been identified from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Most of them are assembled in regulatory pathways, which converge to central integrators which trigger the transition of the vegetative into an inflorescence meristem. For crop cultivation, the time of flowering is of upmost importance, because it determines yield. Phenotypic variation for this trait is largely controlled by genes, which were often modified during domestication or crop improvement. Understanding the genetic basis of flowering time regulation offers new opportunities for selection in plant breeding and for genome editing and genetic modification of crop species.