[Yuki Nakamura] Molecular basis for the lipid-mediated flowering time control

Arabidopsis FT is a pivotal component of florigen, a long-range mobile flowering signal. A research team led by Dr. Nakamura previously discovered that FT interacts with diurnally oscillating phosphatidylcholine molecular species to regulate the flowering (Nakamura et al, 2014 Nat Commun doi:10.1038/ncomms4553). However, the structural basis for the FT-lipid interaction in flowering time control remained elusive. Here, an international and interdisciplinary collaboration team led by Dr. Nakamura and Prof. Inaba (Tohoku Univ, Japan) combined their newly obtained high-resolution crystal structure of FT and computational molecular simulation to identify a lipid-binding site in FT that is required for FT-mediated flowering time control in vivo. The result opens a new avenue in investigating the molecular mechanism of flowering time control by lipids, which may contribute to development of an innovative agricultural technology.