The floral quartet model of floral organ specification poses that different tetramers of MIKC-type MADS-domain transcription factors control gene expression and hence the identity of floral organs during development. Here, we provide a brief history of the floral quartet model and review several lines of recent evidence that support the model. We also describe how the model has been used in contemporary developmental and evolutionary biology to shed light on enigmatic topics such as the origin of land and flowering plants. Finally, we suggest a novel hypothesis describing how floral quartet-like complexes may interact with chromatin during target gene activation and repression.
The authors declare no competing or financial interests.
G.T. and R.M. received funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) [TH417/5-3].