Turning Meristems into Fortresses

Trends Plant Sci. 2019 May;24(5):431-442. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2019.02.004. Epub 2019 Mar 7.


TERMINAL FLOWER1 (TFL1) was named from knockout Arabidopsis thaliana mutants in which the inflorescence abnormally terminates into a flower. In wild type plants, the expression of TFL1 in the center of the inflorescence meristem represses the flower meristem identity genes LEAFY (LFY) and APETALA1 (AP1) to maintain indeterminacy. LFY and AP1 are activated by flowering signals that antagonize TFL1. Its characterization in numerous species revealed that the TFL1-mediated regulation of meristem fate has broader impacts on plant development than originally depicted in A. thaliana. By blocking floral transition, TFL1 genes participate in the control of juvenility, shoot growth pattern, inflorescence architecture, and the establishment of life history strategies. Here, we contextualize the role of the TFL1-mediated protection of meristem indeterminacy throughout plant development.

Keywords: TFL1; developmental phase transitions; flowering; life history strategies; meristem indeterminacy; plant shape.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • Arabidopsis*
  • Flowers
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Meristem
  • Mutation
  • Plant Proteins


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Plant Proteins