Flowering timing is very important for the reproductive success of higher plants. However, effects of salt on plant flowering and the underlying molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we show that salt stress delays flowering in Arabidopsis in a dose-dependent manner. Mild salt stress (≤50 mM NaCl) promoted and prolonged the vegetative growth, whereas high salinity (≥100 mM NaCl) largely delayed or inhibited the transition from vegetative growth to reproductive development. The gibberellin (GA)-pathway plays an important role in this phenotype, and application of exogenous GA could restore late flowering induced by salt. In addition, the CONSTANS (CO)/FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) module may also play a critical role in mediating the effects of salt on flowering. The mRNA abundance of CO was significantly reduced by salt stress in a dose-dependent manner. The constans (co-2) mutants did not respond to moderate salt stress, whereas over-expressing CO manifested no delay in flowering time in response to salinity. Expression of FT, SOC1 and LFY in the downstream of the pathways was also reduced by salt according to dose. Moreover, salt-sensitive mutant salt overly sensitive3 (sos3) exhibited greater sensitivity in flowering, further suggesting that ion disequilibrium mediates salt-induced late flowering.
Plant Growth Regulation – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 12, 2007
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