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Characterization of the role of the FLOWERING LOCUS T mRNA transport in the regulation of flowering time

Final Activity Report Summary - FLORIGENE (Characterisation of the role of the flowering locus T mRNA transport in the regulation of flowering time)

This project was aimed at characterising the role of the mRNA from the Arabidopsis gene FT as the possible signal that moves from leaf to shoot apex to induce flowering, the so called "FLORIGEN". The project was based on a previously published report showing that when FT expression was induced in a single Arabidopsis leaf, the FT mRNA could move from leaf to shoot apex, presumably leading to the induction of flowering. However, during the cause of this project it was shown that this previous report was based on incorrect data handling, and when data was correctly analysed no proof of FT mRNA movement could be found. The previously published experiments were also repeated, and again no mRNA FT transport could be detected. Taken together, this work showed convincingly that there is no support for the notion of the FT mRNA serving as the "Florigen".

During this project also other aspects of FT function and regulation were investigated. It was found that although the FT gene has a very strong expression in the siliques during seed formation, no evidence for a role of FT in the regulation of seed dormancy or germination could be found. Aditionally, experiments were initiated to study the role of the plant Mediator complex in the transcriptional regulation of FT.