The molecular mechanism of flowering
In order for plants to successfully reproduce, all individuals in the same species need to synchronize their flowering time and costruct their flowers following the correct design. Both processes are under environmental and genetic control. Using a small plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, scientists have reached a satisfactory level of understanding of the molecular mechanisms that plants use to perceive environmental conditions and modify gene expression in order to build the flowers. These mechanisms seem to be conserved in most plant species, which will allow the manipulation of all important aspects of flowering in useful crops in the near future.