The FLOWERING LOCUS T/TERMINAL FLOWER 1 Gene Family: Functional Evolution and Molecular Mechanisms

Daniel P. Wickland, Yoshie Hanzawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In plant development, the flowering transition and inflorescence architecture are modulated by two homologous proteins, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and TERMINAL FLOWER 1 (TFL1). The florigen FT promotes the transition to reproductive development and flowering, while TFL1 represses this transition. Despite their importance to plant adaptation and crop improvement and their extensive study by the plant community, the molecular mechanisms controlling the opposing actions of FT and TFL1 have remained mysterious. Recent studies in multiple species have unveiled diverse roles of the FT/TFL1 gene family in developmental processes other than flowering regulation. In addition, the striking evolution of FT homologs into flowering repressors has occurred independently in several species during the evolution of flowering plants. These reports indicate that the FT/TFL1 gene family is a major target of evolution in nature. Here, we comprehensively survey the conserved and diverse functions of the FT/TFL1 gene family throughout the plant kingdom, summarize new findings regarding the unique evolution of FT in multiple species, and highlight recent work elucidating the molecular mechanisms of these proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number70
Pages (from-to)983-997
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Plant
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 6 2015


  • FT
  • PEBP
  • TFL1
  • evolution
  • flowering
  • inflorescence architecture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science


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