A genetic and physiological analysis of late flowering mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana

Mol Gen Genet. 1991 Sep;229(1):57-66. doi: 10.1007/BF00264213.


Monogenic mutants of the early ecotype Landsberg erecta were selected on the basis of late flowering under long day (LD) conditions after treatment with ethyl methanesulphonate or irradiation. In addition to later flowering the number of rosette and cauline leaves is proportionally higher in all mutants, although the correlation coefficient between the two parameters is not the same for all genotypes. Forty-two independently induced mutants were found to represent mutations at 11 loci. The mutations were either recessive, intermediate (co locus) or almost completely dominant (fwa locus). The loci are located at distinct positions on four of the five Arabidopsis chromosomes. Recombinants carrying mutations at different loci flower later than or as late as the later parental mutant. This distinction led to the assignment of eight of the loci to three epistatic groups. In wild type, vernalization promotes flowering to a small extent. For mutants at the loci fca, fve, fy and fpa, vernalization has a large effect both under LD and short day (SD) conditions, whereas co, gi, fd and fwa mutants are almost completely insensitive to this treatment. SD induces later flowering except for mutants at the co and gi loci, which flower with the same number of leaves under LD and SD conditions. This differential response of the mutants to environmental factors and their subdivision into epistatic groups is discussed in relation to a causal model for floral initiation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate / toxicity
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Genes, Recessive / genetics
  • Light
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Periodicity
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Plants / drug effects
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants / radiation effects
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics


  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate