WP 3: Integration of endogenous and environmental factors
Major gaps in knowledge concern the question of how plants store information on daylength and integrate this with environmental stimuli arising from stress factors or agronomic measures to adjust flowering time. Plant species for which structured populations exist (recombinant inbred lines, multiparental lines) and diverse accessions for association mapping will be prioritized. The use of available germplasm collections is encouraged to also study yet little understood gene networks which regulate FTi in response to environmental or physiological cues such as ambient temperature changes, mineral supply and hormonal composition (goal No. 1). Projects should focus on the aim to develop a functional cross species network of FTi regulators.
The following key questions shall be answered:
- How does a plant perceive external signals such as
changes in day length and how does it utilize this information to regulate the
developmental switch to flowering (goal No. 1)?
- Does signal integration differ between annuals and
perennials (goal No. 3)?
- What are the mechanisms by which the shoot apical
meristem changes its identity from producing vegetative structures such as
leaves to forming flowers (goal No. 1)?