Zhu, Y., Klasfeld, S., Jeong, C.W., Jin, R., Goto, K., Yamaguchi, N., & Wagner, D.(2020). TERMINAL FLOWER 1-FD complex target genes and competition with FLOWERING LOCUS T. Nature Communications, 11(2), 5118.
Plants monitor seasonal cues to optimize reproductive success by tuning onset of reproduction and inflorescence architecture. TERMINAL FLOWER 1 (TFL1) and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and their orthologs antagonistically regulate these life history traits, yet their mechanism of action, antagonism and targets remain poorly understood. Here, we show that TFL1 is recruited to thousands of loci by the bZIP transcription factor FD. We identify the master regulator of floral fate, LEAFY (LFY) as a target under dual opposite regulation by TFL1 and FT and uncover a pivotal role of FT in promoting flower fate via LFY upregulation. We provide evidence that the antagonism between FT and TFL1 relies on competition for chromatin-bound FD at shared target loci. Direct TFL1-FD regulated target genes identify this complex as a hub for repressing both master regulators of reproductive development and endogenous signalling pathways. Our data provide mechanistic insight into how TFL1-FD sculpt inflorescence architecture, a trait important for reproductive success, plant architecture and yield.