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Mechanistic model of temperature influence on flowering through whole-plant accumulation of FT

By Hannah A Kinmonth-Schultz, Melissa J MacEwen, DD Seaton, Andrew J Millar, Takato Imaizumi, Soo-Hyung Kim

Posted 18 Feb 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/267104 (published DOI: 10.1093/insilicoplants/diz006)

We assessed temperature influence on flowering by incorporating temperature-responsive flowering mechanisms across developmental age into an existing model. Temperature influences both the leaf production rate and expression of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT), a photoperiodic flowering regulator, in leaves. The Arabidopsis Framework Model incorporated temperature influence on leaf growth but ignored the consequences of leaf growth on and direct temperature influence of FT expression. We measured FT production in differently aged leaves and modified the model, adding the mechanistic temperature influence on FT transcription, and linking FT to leaf growth. Our simulations suggest that in long days, the developmental timing (leaf number) at which the reproductive transition occurs is influenced by day length and temperature through FT, while temperature influences the rate of leaf production and the time (in days) the transition occurs. Further, we demonstrated that FT is mainly produced in the first 10 leaves in the Columbia ecotype, and that FT accumulation alone cannot explain flowering in conditions in which flowering is delayed. Our simulations supported our hypotheses that: 1) temperature regulation of FT, accumulated with leaf growth, is a component of thermal time, and 2) incorporating mechanistic temperature regulation of FT can improve model predictions in fluctuating temperatures.

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