RNA feels the cold in plants
Warsaw – Researchers at the Polish Academy of Sciences have shed new light on how plants adapt their flowering to climate. According to the team under Szymon Swiezewsk (Nature 462, 799-802), the plants use a kind of cold sensor to switch off a gene that normally blocks the flowering process. Prolonged periods of cold induce the occurence of non-coding RNA that binds specifically to the “Flowering Locus C”, the plant-specific flowering suppressor. The complex recruits the so-called Polycomb protein, which silences FLC transcription by methylating the correspondent DNA.