Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Discover Plant Mechanism that Regulates Flowering in Warm Temperatures

May 4, 2016

Monash University researchers have discovered a new mechanism that allows plants to regulate their flowering as temperatures rise. The team, led by Monash Associate Professor Sureshkumar Balasubramanian, made the discovery by using a combination of genetic, molecular and computational biology experiments to the flowering plant Arabidopsis.

Balasubramanian explained how two key basic cellular processes work together to reduce the levels of a protein that normally prevents flowering, allowing the plants to produce flowers in elevated temperatures. While he discovered the genetic basis of temperature-induced flowering ten years ago, it is only now, with the availability of new computational approaches, that they were able to discover this mechanism.

"This is very exciting as our understanding of how these genetic mechanisms work together opens up whole new possibilities for us to be able to develop technology to control when plants flower under different temperatures. These mechanisms are present in all organisms, so we may be able to transfer this knowledge to crop plants, with very promising possibilities for agriculture," Professor Balasubramanian said.

For more details, read the news release at the Monash University website.