IN Arabidopsis, the apical shoot meristem produces lateral meristems that develop into either shoots or flowers. The decision to form flowers instead of shoots is mediated by the action of floral-meristem-identity genes, such as APETALA1 (AP1) and LEAFY (LFY), which specify meristem fate1–-7. Here we show that trans-genic plants which constitutively express the AP1 gene show transformations of apical and lateral shoots into flowers, and that these plants flower much earlier than wild-type plants. These results indicate that AP1 alone can convert infloresence shoot meristems into floral meristems, and that ectopic AP1 expression can dramatically reduce the time to flowering.
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