Tulip is one of the most famous ornamental plants associated with the Netherlands. Around the end of March until the beginning of May beautiful fields can be found covered with blooming tulips. But why do you find these fields with tulips mostly only in the Netherlands? That is due to the climate of low temperature during winter and cool springs as the tulips begin to bloom. After blooming tulips go into senescence and temperature will increase over time. The high temperature will trigger the development of the floral bud inside the bulb, which will bloom in the following spring.
So far it is unknown which genes play a role in this trigger given by high temperature. In the model species Arabidopsis thaliana the induction of flowering requires a gene FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT), which encodes a floral activator. FT is part of a family consisting of six members containing all a phosphatidylethanolamine binding (PEBP) domain. Several FT homologs are already identified in other monocot species like Oryza sativa (rice), Hordeum vulgare (barley) and Zea mays (maize).