Flowering Locus C

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Flowering Locus C [1] (FLC) is a MADS-box gene that in late-flowering ecotypes of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana is responsible for vernalization. In a new seedling FLC is expressed, which prevents flowering. Upon exposure to cold, less FLC is expressed (to a degree depending on the amount of cold), and flowering becomes possible.[2] FLC is extensively regulated through epigenetic modifications and transcriptional control.

The expression of FLC is affected by other genes including FLK,[3] FCA[4] and VERNALIZATION2 (VRN2).[4]

Wild Arabidopsis plants have different alleles for the FLC gene, which correspond to ecotypes which either (a) flower rapidly and produce a number of generations during one summer (summer-annual), or (b) flower only after vernalization (winter-annual or late-flowering). This kind of variation can also be provided by variation in the FRIGIDA (FRI) gene.[5]


  1. ^ Michaels SD, Amasino RM (1999), "FLOWERING LOCUS C encodes a novel MADS domain protein that acts as a repressor of flowering", Plant Cell 11 (5): 949–56, doi:10.1105/tpc.11.5.949, PMC 144226, PMID 10330478. 
  2. ^ Sheldon, Cc; Rouse, Dt; Finnegan, Ej; Peacock, Wj; Dennis, Es (Mar 2000), "The molecular basis of vernalization: the central role of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC)." (FREE FULL TEXT), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 97 (7): 3753–8, doi:10.1073/pnas.060023597, PMC 16312, PMID 10716723 
  3. ^ Lim, Mh; Kim, J; Kim, Ys; Chung, Ks; Seo, Yh; Lee, I; Kim, J; Hong, Cb; Kim, Hj; Park, Cm (Mar 2004), "A new Arabidopsis gene, FLK, encodes an RNA binding protein with K homology motifs and regulates flowering time via FLOWERING LOCUS C." (FREE FULL TEXT), The Plant cell 16 (3): 731–40, doi:10.1105/tpc.019331, PMC 385284, PMID 14973162 
  4. ^ a b Sheldon, C. C.; Conn, AB; Dennis, ES; Peacock, WJ (2002), "Different Regulatory Regions Are Required for the Vernalization-Induced Repression of FLOWERING LOCUS C and for the Epigenetic Maintenance of Repression", The Plant Cell Online 14 (10): 2527, doi:10.1105/tpc.004564, PMC 151233, PMID 12368502 
  5. ^ Michaels, Sd; He, Y; Scortecci, Kc; Amasino, Rm (Aug 2003), "Attenuation of FLOWERING LOCUS C activity as a mechanism for the evolution of summer-annual flowering behavior in Arabidopsis." (FREE FULL TEXT), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100 (17): 10102–7, doi:10.1073/pnas.1531467100, PMC 187779, PMID 12904584