TERMINAL FLOWER 1 (TFL1) is a key regulator of Arabidopsis plant architecture, which responds to developmental and environmental signals to control flowering time and the fate of shoot meristems. TFL1 expression pattern is dynamic, being found in all shoot meristems, but not in floral meristems, with its level and distribution changing throughout development. Using a variety of experimental approaches, we have analysed the TFL1 promoter to elucidate its functional structure. TFL1 expression is based on distinct cis-regulatory regions, the most important ones located 3' of the coding sequence. Our results indicate that TFL1 expression in the shoot apical vs. lateral inflorescence meristems is controlled through distinct cis-regulatory elements, suggesting that different signals control expression in these meristem types. Moreover, we identified a cis-regulatory region necessary for TFL1 expression in the vegetative shoot, required for a wild-type flowering time, supporting that TFL1 expression in the vegetative meristem controls flowering time. Our study provides a model for the functional organization of TFL1 cis-regulatory regions, contributing to understanding of how developmental pathways are integrated at the genomic level of a key regulator to control plant architecture.
- Received January 15, 2016.
- Accepted June 21, 2016.