Biotech Updates

Scientists in Singapore Discover Flowering "Switch" in Plants

April 20, 2012

A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has discovered what exactly triggers plants to make flowers. The study, which spanned five years, identified a protein that is essential to flowering under normal light conditions.

The team, led by Associate Professor Yu Hao from the NUS Department of Biological Sciences, scanned 3 million plant samples and identified a molecule they called FT-INTERACTING PROTEIN 1 (FTIP1). They found that plants with non-functional FTIP1 genes flowered late under normal conditions, but when such plants were given functional FTIP1s, their flowering times return to normal.

Read the team's findings in the April 17 online version of PLos Biology at