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Regulation of flowering in plants demystified [Registered]

Scientists believe they’ve pinpointed the last crucial piece of the 80-year-old puzzle of how plants “know” when to flower. Determining the proper time to flower, important if a plant is to reproduce successfully, involves a sequence of molecular events, a plant’s circadian clock and sunlight. Understanding how flowering works in the simple plant used in this study – Arabidopsis – should lead to a better understanding of how the same genes work in more complex plants grown as crops such as rice, wheat and barley, according to Takato Imaizumi, a University of Washington assistant professor of biology and corresponding author…

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