The acceleration of flowering by prolonged low temperature treatment (vernalization) has unique properties including the floral transition occurring at a time separate from the vernalization treatment. This implies the vernalization condition is inherited through mitotic divisions, but this vernalized state is not inherited from one generation to the next. FLC, the key gene mediating this response in the Arabidopsis is repressed by histone modifications involving the VRN2 protein complex. Other protein complexes participate in activating the gene. While many plant species depend on vernalization for optimising flowering time, the genes involved differ between dicot and monocot plants in both Arabidopsis and cereals, vernalization regulates photoperiod control of flowering by preventing the induction of the floral promoter FT by long days in autumn but allowing induction of FT in spring and hence flowering occurs at an optimal time in the annual life cycle.