The transcriptional repressor complex FRS7-FRS12 regulates flowering time and growth in Arabidopsis

Most living organisms developed systems to efficiently time environmental changes. The plant-clock acts in coordination with external signals to generate output responses determining seasonal growth and flowering time. Here, we show that two Arabidopsis thaliana transcription factors, FAR1 RELATED SEQUENCE 7 (FRS7) and FRS12, act as negative regulators of these processes. These proteins accumulate particularly in short-day conditions and interact to form a complex. Loss-of-function of FRS7 and FRS12 results in early flowering plants with overly elongated hypocotyls mainly in short days. We demonstrate by molecular analysis that FRS7 and FRS12 affect these developmental processes in part by binding to the promoters and repressing the expression of GIGANTEA and PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 4 as well as several of their downstream signalling targets. Our data reveal a molecular machinery that controls the photoperiodic regulation of flowering and growth and offer insight into how plants adapt to seasonal changes.

Ritter, A., Iñigo, S., Fernández-Calvo, P., Heyndrickx, KS., Dhondt, S., Shi, J., De Milde, L., Vanden Bossche, R., De Clercq, R., Eeckhout, D., Ron, Shamir., Somers, DE., Inzé, D., Gevaert, O., De Jaeger, G., Vandepoele, K., Pauwels, L., Goossens, A. (2017) The transcriptional repressor complex FRS7-FRS12 regulates flowering time and growth in Arabidopsis. Nat Commun. 8:15235.

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