Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mechanism Involved in Plant "Flowering" Gene

Thale Cress (Arabidopsis) in bloom. Credit: Copyright Regnault/ TUM
A team of researchers at the University of Munich have successfully identified the mechanism of a gene FLM in Arabidopsis, which acts as a blooming inhibitor. The FLM gene is necessary to keep plants from flowering too early in the season, thereby protecting the buds from the weather changes. By performing comparative sequence analysis of over a thousand of these plants, the team was able to determine that the gene binds directly to DNA in order to delay blooming if necessary.  It was also determined that the DNA modified by the FLM would then regulate the amount of the inhibitor released.

More research done on the topic by the Department of Biochemistry of Wisconsin revealed a second gene, known as SVP, which inhibits the over-expression of the flowering inhibitor FLM. This is necessary to guarantee the FLM gene is not expressed in too great a frequency, lest the plants never bloom. This research is vital to understand the affects environmental changes can have on flowering plants such as grain and corn in the years to come.


  1. It will be interesting to see what environmental factors affect this gene that prevents the plant from blooming. This is very interesting research that should be continued into the future to help plants thrive in unfavorable conditions.

  2. Good Post! I wonder if it would be possible to prevent blooming in transgenic varieties of agricultural crops such as spinach, lettuce, and cilantro which have a tendency to bolt (flower fast in heat).