Submitted to: International Horticultural Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 24, 2010
Publication Date: August 22, 2010
Citation: Srinivasan, C., Callahan, A.M., Dardick, C.D., Scorza, R. 2010. Expression of the poplar Flowering Locus T1 (FT1) gene reduces the generation time in plum (Prunus domestica L.) [abstract]. International Horticultural Congress. p. 103. Technical Abstract: Plums normally begin to flower and fruit three to seven years from seed. To shorten this generation time, early flowering plum genotypes were produced by transforming plum hypocotyls with the poplar (Populus trichocarpa) Flowering Locus T1 (PtFT1) gene. Ectopic expression of 35S::PtFT1 induced early flowering in over 30% of transgenic plants within one to ten months of transfer to the greenhouse. The early flowering plum plants accumulated high PtFT1 transcripts in leaves relative to the non-flowering PtFT1 plants. Flowering plants were also characterized by the precocious production of lateral branches upon which flowers were produced. Following pollination, fruit developed and ripened normally and formed viable seed. Seeds harvested from first generation PtFT1 transgenic plums were germinated, and these produced flowering second generation plums within four months and segregated into PtFT1 transgenic lines and non-flowering, non-transgenic lines. Ectopic expression of PtFT1 reduced plum generation time from three to seven years to one year. A plum genetic improvement program has been initiated to rapidly incorporate desired traits into plum with the eventual selection of non-transgenic improved germplasm and varieties.