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Review Article|29 Aug 2023|OPEN
Role of methylation in vernalization and photoperiod pathway: a potential flowering regulator?
Meimei Shi1 , Chunlei Wang1 , Peng Wang2 , Fahong Yun1 , Zhiya Liu1 , Fujin Ye1 , Lijuan Wei1 and Weibiao Liao,1 ,
1College of Horticulture, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2Vegetable and Flower Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad174 (2023)
Views: 44

Received: 24 Mar 2023
Accepted: 23 Aug 2023
Published online: 29 Aug 2023


Recognized as a pivotal developmental transition, flowering marks the continuation of a plant’s life cycle. Vernalization and photoperiod are two major flowering pathways orchestrating numerous florigenic signals. Methylation, including histone, DNA and RNA methylation, is one of the recent foci in plant development. Considerable studies reveal that methylation seems to show an increasing potential regulatory role in plant flowering via altering relevant gene expression without altering the genetic basis. However, little has been reviewed about whether and how methylation acts on vernalization- and photoperiod-induced flowering before and after FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) reactivation, what role RNA methylation plays in vernalization- and photoperiod-induced flowering, how methylation participates simultaneously in both vernalization- and photoperiod-induced flowering, the heritability of methylation memory under the vernalization/photoperiod pathway, and whether and how methylation replaces vernalization/photoinduction to regulate flowering. Our review provides insight about the crosstalk among the genetic control of the flowering gene network, methylation (methyltransferases/demethylases) and external signals (cold, light, sRNA and phytohormones) in vernalization and photoperiod pathways. The existing evidence that RNA methylation may play a potential regulatory role in vernalization- and photoperiod-induced flowering has been gathered and represented for the first time. This review speculates about and discusses the possibility of substituting methylation for vernalization and photoinduction to promote flowering. Current evidence is utilized to discuss the possibility of future methylation reagents becoming flowering regulators at the molecular level.