The photoperiodic response in Arabidopsis thaliana requires the precise regulation of CONSTANS (CO) expression in relation to the light period during the day. In short days (SDs) levels of CO expression are normally low during the light period, and this results in delayed flowering compared with long days (LDs) when CO expression rises to high levels before the end of the light period. We identified a novel flowering time gene called DAY NEUTRAL FLOWERING (DNF) that acts in the same flowering pathway as CO. DNF is a membrane-bound E3 ligase that represses CO expression and plays an important role in maintaining low levels of CO expression in SDs. The effect of DNF on the rhythm of CO expression is essential for the photoperiodic response of Arabidopsis, enabling it to have a different flowering response in LDs and SDs
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