The switch from producing vegetative structures (branches and leaves) to producing reproductive structures (flowers) is a crucial developmental transition that significantly affects the reproductive success of flowering plants. In Arabidopsis, this transition is in large part controlled by the meristem identity regulator LEAFY (LFY). The molecular mechanisms by which LFY orchestrates a precise and robust switch to flower formation is not well understood. Here, we show that the direct LFY target LATE MERISTEM IDENTITY2 (LMI2) has a role in the meristem identity transition. Like LFY, LMI2 activates AP1 directly; moreover, LMI2 and LFY interact physically. LFY, LMI2 and AP1 are connected in a feed-forward and positive feedback loop network. We propose that these intricate regulatory interactions not only direct the precision of this crucial developmental transition in rapidly changing environmental conditions, but also contribute to its robustness and irreversibility.
Pastore, Jennifer JLimpuangthip, AndreaYamaguchi, NobutoshiWu, Miin-FengSang, YiHan, Soon-KiMalaspina, LaurenChavdaroff, NatashaYamaguchi, AyakoWagner, Doris5-T32-HD007516/HD/NICHD NIH HHS/EnglandCambridge, EnglandDevelopment. 2011 Aug;138(15):3189-98.