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Blue light tells plants when to flower

Protein that marks day length also coordinates blooming genes

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3:35pm, May 25, 2012

As the days become longer in spring, plants know to bloom thanks to an interaction between several crucial proteins and blue light, scientists report in the May 25 Science. The new work describes the molecular mechanics that enables a light-sensitive protein to help switch on a suite of genes that control flowering. Understanding the biology of how plants regulate flowering could be useful for tweaking crops to start producing food earlier in the year.

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