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A research team at Freie Universität Berlin discovers genes that regulate plant development and reproduction

News from Jan 04, 2022

Biologists at Freie Universität Berlin have discovered that the hormone cytokinin regulates a developmental process in plants that can be compared with puberty in humans and animals. The research team says that plants become receptive to specific signals that stimulate flowering during this development – in other words, they begin their transition into the reproductive phase. These signals include factors like day length, light intensity, and temperature. Certain hormones also influence this process. The research outcomes show that the hormone cytokinin plays a key role in a plant’s transition to the adult phase. The research team has thus been able to make a significant contribution to our understanding of “puberty” in plants. The study was published in Nature Communications.


Werner S., Bartrina, I., Schmülling T. (2021) Cytokinin regulates vegetative phase change in Arabidopsis thaliana through the miR172/TOE1-TOE2 module. Nature Communications 12, 5816. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-26088-z

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