The role of cryptochrome 2 in the control of flowering in Arabidopsis
El-Assal, SE and Alonso-Blanco, C and Peeters, AJM and Wagemaker, CW and Weller, JL, The role of cryptochrome 2 in the control of flowering in Arabidopsis, Journal of Plant Physiology, 133, (4) pp. 1504-1516. ISSN 0176-1617 (2003) [Refereed Article]
We have investigated the genetic interactions between cry2 and the various flowering pathways in relation to the regulation of flowering by photoperiod and vernalization. For this, we combined three alleles of CRY2, the wild-type CRY2-Landsberg erecta (Ler), a cry2 loss-of-function null allele, and the gain-of-function CRY2-Cape Verde Islands (Cvi), with mutants representing the various photoreceptors and flowering pathways. The analysis of CRY2 alleles combined with photoreceptor mutants showed that CRY2-Cvi could compensate the loss of phyA and cryl, also indicating that cry2 does not require functional phyA or cry1. The analysis of mutants of the photoperiod pathway showed epistasis of co and gi to the CRY2 alleles, indicating that cry2 needs the product of CO and GI genes to promote flowering. All double mutants of this pathway showed a photoperiod response very much reduced compared with Ler. In contrast, mutations in the autonomous pathway genes were additive to the CRY2 alleles, partially overcoming the effects of CRY2-Cvi and restoring day length responsiveness. The three CRY2 alleles were day length sensitive when combined with FRI-Sf2 and/or FLC-Sf2 genes, which could be reverted when the delay of flowering caused by FRI-Sf2 and FLC-Sf2 alleles was removed by vernalization. In addition, we looked at the expression of FLC and CRY2 genes and showed that CRY2 is negatively regulated by FLC. These results indicate an interaction between the photoperiod and the FLC-dependent pathways upstream to the common downstream targets of both pathways, SOC1 and FT.