Living by the calendar: how plants know when to flower

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Apr;4(4):265-75. doi: 10.1038/nrm1077.


Reproductive processes in plants and animals are usually synchronized with favourable seasons of the year. It has been known for 80 years that organisms anticipate seasonal changes by adjusting developmental programmes in response to daylength. Recent studies indicate that plants perceive daylength through the degree of coincidence of light with the expression of CONSTANS, which encodes a clock-regulated transcription factor that controls the expression of floral-inductive genes in a light-dependent manner.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Flowers / physiology*
  • Plant Development*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*
  • Reproduction
  • Seasons
  • Temperature