As sessile organisms, plants have to deal with unfavourable conditions by acclimating or adapting in order to survive. Regulation of flower induction is one such mechanism to ensure reproduction and species survival. Flowering is a tightly regulated process under the control of a network of genes, which can be affected by environmental cues and stress. The effects of ionising radiation (IR) on flowering, however, have been poorly studied. Understanding the effects of ionising radiation on flowering, including the timing, gene pathways, and epigenetics involved, is crucial in the continuing effort of environmental radiation protection. The review shows that plants alter their flowering pattern in response to IR, with various flowering related genes (eg. FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT), CONSTANS (CO), GIGANTEA (GI), APETALA1 (AP1), LEAFY (LFY)) and epigenetic processes (DNA methylation, and miRNA expression eg. miRNA169, miR156, miR172) being affected. Thereby, showing a hypothetical IR-induced flowering mechanism. Further research on the interaction between IR and flowering in plants is, however, needed to elucidate the mechanisms behind the stress-induced flowering response.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science