APETALA1 (AP1) of Arabidopsis thaliana is a transcription factor controlling flower development. AP2 is a member of the MADS (MCM1, AGAMOUS, DEFICIENS, SRF) superfamily, which plays important roles in differentiation in plants and animals. MADS domains, which function most importantly in DNA binding, are found in all major eukaryotic kingdoms. In plants, MADS domain-containing proteins also possess a region of moderate sequence similarity named the K domain, which is involved in protein-protein interaction. Little is known about the function of a third, highly variable, domain designated the C domain, as it resides at the C terminus of the MADS proteins of plants. Here we report that the C-terminal domain of Arabidopsis thaliana AP1 and its homologues perform a transcriptional activation function. The C-terminal region of AP1 is composed of at least two separable transcriptional activation domains that function synergistically.