Integrating roots into a whole plant network of flowering time genes in Arabidopsis thaliana

Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 29:6:29042. doi: 10.1038/srep29042.


Molecular data concerning the involvement of roots in the genetic pathways regulating floral transition are lacking. In this study, we performed global analyses of the root transcriptome in Arabidopsis in order to identify flowering time genes that are expressed in the roots and genes that are differentially expressed in the roots during the induction of flowering. Data mining of public microarray experiments uncovered that about 200 genes whose mutations are reported to alter flowering time are expressed in the roots (i.e. were detected in more than 50% of the microarrays). However, only a few flowering integrator genes passed the analysis cutoff. Comparison of root transcriptome in short days and during synchronized induction of flowering by a single 22-h long day revealed that 595 genes were differentially expressed. Enrichment analyses of differentially expressed genes in root tissues, gene ontology categories, and cis-regulatory elements converged towards sugar signaling. We concluded that roots are integrated in systemic signaling, whereby carbon supply coordinates growth at the whole plant level during the induction of flowering. This coordination could involve the root circadian clock and cytokinin biosynthesis as a feed forward loop towards the shoot.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / anatomy & histology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Data Mining
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Datasets as Topic
  • Energy Metabolism / genetics
  • Flowers / growth & development*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks*
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Mutation
  • Photoperiod
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / physiology*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • RNA, Plant / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • Regulatory Elements, Transcriptional
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Transcriptome


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • RNA, Plant