Making sense out of nonsense: temperature induction of flowering in Arabidopsis

S Sureshkumar, C Dent, A Seleznev, C Tasset and S Balasubramanian

School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, VIC 3800, Australia

Temperature affects almost all aspects of plant development including transition to flowering. Elevated growth temperatures induce flowering in a potent manner in plants. In Arabidopsis, which is a facultative long day plant, elevated temperatures can trigger earlier flowering even in short days. This process has been suggested to involve transcription factors PIF4, FLM and SVP. Different models have been proposed to account for this temperature-induced flowering response. We show that a combination of alternative splicing coupled with nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (AS-NMD) contributes substantially to this temperature-induced flowering response. Our findings suggest that AS-NMD could play a critical role in environmental sensing and response in plants.