How organisms control when to transition between different stages of development is a key question in biology. In plants, epigenetic silencing by Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) and PRC2 plays a crucial role in promoting developmental transitions, including from juvenile-to-adult phases of vegetative growth. PRC1/2 are known to repress the master regulator of vegetative phase change, miR156, leading to the transition to adult growth, but how this process is regulated temporally is unknown. Here we investigate whether transcription factors in the VIVIPAROUS/ABI3-LIKE (VAL) gene family provide the temporal signal for the epigenetic repression of miR156. Exploiting a novel val1 allele, we found that VAL1 and VAL2 redundantly regulate vegetative phase change by controlling the overall level, rather than temporal dynamics, of miR156 expression. Furthermore, we discovered that VAL1 and VAL2 also act independently of miR156 to control this important developmental transition. In combination, our results highlight the complexity of temporal regulation in plants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research