Flower power genes identified as reported in Nature Science Update 19 Sep 2002. Researchers at Scripps Research Institute, San Diego have identified genes that enable plants to measure the length of day light so that they know when to produce flowers. A gene called CONSTANS produces a protein that switches on another gene called FLOWERING LOCUS T, which activates the hundreds of other genes needed to start building flowers. The amount of protein produced by CONSTANS rises and falls over a 24 hour cycle, reaching its peak in the late afternoon. The flowering genes are switched on when the amount of protein reaches a predetermined threshold and the plant has both blue and red light from the sun shining on it. Plants have two light receptor molecules called crytochrome 2 and phytochrome A that detect blue and red light respectively. Plants that flower in early spring produce CONSTANS protein more quickly and reach the threshold level earlier, before the sun goes down. As the spring days lengthen plants with a higher threshold are able to accumulate enough protein before sunset and switch into flower mode.
Editorial Comment: Try to make an artificial flower which can do this and you will soon see how clever you have to be to create such a system. The more we study genomes of pants, animals and humans the more we are discovering how genes work together as components in complex systems that don’t work until all the component parts are working. This is clear evidence of planned and purposeful creation – not evolution by chance.