ELF3 polyQ variation in Arabidopsis thaliana reveals a PIF4-independent role in thermoresponsive flowering.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Maximilian O PressChristine Queitsch


Plants have evolved elaborate mechanisms controlling developmental responses to environmental stimuli. A particularly important stimulus is temperature. Previous work has identified the interplay of PIF4 and ELF3 as a central circuit underlying thermal responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, thermal responses vary widely among strains, possibly offering mechanistic insights into the wiring of this circuit. ELF3 contains a polyglutamine (polyQ) tract that is crucial for ELF3 function and varies in length across strains. Here, we use transgenic analysis to test the hypothesis that natural polyQ variation in ELF3 is associated with the observed natural variation in thermomorphogenesis. We found little evidence that the polyQ tract plays a specific role in thermal responses beyond modulating general ELF3 function. Instead, we made the serendipitous discovery that ELF3 plays a crucial, PIF4-independent role in thermoresponsive flowering under conditions more likely to reflect field conditions. We present evidence that ELF3 acts through the photoperiodic pathway, pointing to a previously unknown symmetry between low and high ambient temperature responses. Moreover, in analyzing two strain backgrounds with vastly different thermal...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Biochemical Pathway
Plants, Transgenic
ELF3 gene
Response to Temperature Stimulus
Arabidopsis thaliana extract

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