Fine-tuning timing: natural variation informs the mechanistic basis of the switch to flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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The evolution of diverse life history strategies has allowed Arabidopsis thaliana to adapt to worldwide locations, spanning a range of latitudinal and environmental conditions. Arabidopsis thaliana accessions are either vernalization-requiring winter annuals or rapid cyclers, with extensive natural variation in vernalization requirement and response. Genetic and molecular analysis of this variation has enhanced our understanding of the mechanisms involved in life history determination, with translation to both natural and crop systems in the Brassicaceae and beyond.