Posttranscriptional RNA metabolism plays versatile roles in the regulation of gene expression during eukaryotic growth and development. It is mediated by a group of RNA binding proteins with distinct conserved motifs. In this study, an Arabidopsis ( Arabidopsis thaliana ) gene, designated FLK , was identified and shown to encode a putative RNA binding protein with K homology motifs. A mutant in which FLK was inactivated by T-DNA insertion exhibited a severe late flowering phenotype both in long and short days. The late flowering phenotype was reversed by gibberellin and vernalization treatments. The FLOWERING LOCUS C ( FLC ) transcription was greatly upregulated, whereas those of FLOWERING LOCUS T and SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS1 decreased in the mutant. These observations demonstrate that FLK regulates the autonomous flowering pathway via FLC . It is now evident that a battery of different RNA binding proteins are involved in the posttranscriptional regulation of flowering time in Arabidopsis.
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