Flowers know when to bloom thanks to the Apetala1 gene. Apetala1, a lone master gene, triggers a plant’s reproductive development, sending a signal to it when it’s time to bloom. Yes, a single gene is all that is required for a plant to start producing flowers.
Flowers bloom to attract insects, which then transport pollen from one flower to another, and fertilizing the developing fruits and seeds. In other words, it is the process by which plants reproduce.
Only one protein initiates the blooming process! As the days start getting longer and the number of daylight hours increases, a plant protein known as “CONSTANS” (“CO”) is activated within the plant. CO then activates another protein known as “Flowering Locus T,” or simply “FT.”
Warmer temperatures cause plants to produce more FT. FT causes the plant to produce a “APETALA1” gene, which in turn produces the APETALA1 protein. This protein then activates over 1,000 other genes involved in flowering. For example, it signals genes responsible for leaf growth to stop producing leaves and instead start producing flowers.
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