Spatial control of flowering by DELLA proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana

Development. 2012 Nov;139(21):4072-82. doi: 10.1242/dev.080879. Epub 2012 Sep 19.


The transition from vegetative to reproductive development is a central event in the plant life cycle. To time the induction of flowering correctly, plants integrate environmental and endogenous signals such as photoperiod, temperature and hormonal status. The hormone gibberellic acid (GA) has long been known to regulate flowering. However, the spatial contribution of GA signaling in flowering time control is poorly understood. Here we have analyzed the effect of tissue-specific misexpression of wild-type and GA-insensitive (dellaΔ17) DELLA proteins on the floral transition in Arabidopsis thaliana. We demonstrate that under long days, GA affects the floral transition by promoting the expression of flowering time integrator genes such as FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and TWIN SISTER OF FT (TSF) in leaves independently of CONSTANS (CO) and GIGANTEA (GI). In addition, GA signaling promotes flowering independently of photoperiod through the regulation of SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE (SPL) genes in both the leaves and at the shoot meristem. Our data suggest that GA regulates flowering by controlling the spatial expression of floral regulatory genes throughout the plant in a day-length-specific manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Flowers / genetics
  • Flowers / metabolism*
  • Flowers / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Gibberellins / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Gibberellins
  • gibberellic acid