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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evolutionary conservation of the FLC mediated vernalization response)

Author
item Richards, Christopher
item Reeves, Patrick
item He, Yuehui
item Schmitz, Robert
item Amasino, Richard
item Panella, Leonard - Lee

Submitted to: Plant and Animal Genome
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/13/2007
Publication Date: 1/13/2007
Citation: Richards, C.M., Reeves, P.A., He, Y., Schmitz, R.J., Amasino, R.M., Panella, L.W. 2007. Evolutionary conservation of the FLC mediated vernalization response. Meeting Abstract for the Plant and Animal Genome XV conference. January 13-17, 2007, San Diego, California. pp. 129.

Interpretive Summary: In many plants, exposure to a prolonged period of cold during the winter promotes flowering in the spring, a process termed vernalization. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the vernalization requirement of winter-annual ecotypes is caused by the MADS box gene FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). The extent to which this vernalization mechanism has been conserved during the diversification of flowering plants is not well understood. Using phylogenetic analysis, we identified homologs of FLC in species representing the three major eudicot lineages. FLC homologs have not previously been documented outside the family Brassicaceae. We show that the sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) FLC homolog BvFL1 is, like FLC, a repressor of flowering that is downregulated in response to cold. In addition we show that allelic variants at this locus are more abundant in the wild progenitor subspecies Beta vulgaris subsp maritima than in any of the cultivated lines we assayed. Flowering time is a trait of critical agronomic importance and considerable ecological interest. Assessment of functional variation at this key regulatory locus may be of value for ex situ conservation and may present an opportunity to study (and control) flowering time as a tool in applied plant breeding efforts.

Technical Abstract: In many plants, exposure to a prolonged period of cold during the winter promotes flowering in the spring, a process termed vernalization. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the vernalization requirement of winter-annual ecotypes is caused by the MADS box gene FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). The extent to which this vernalization mechanism has been conserved during the diversification of flowering plants is not well understood. Using phylogenetic analysis, we identified homologs of FLC in species representing the three major eudicot lineages. FLC homologs have not previously been documented outside the family Brassicaceae. We show that the sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) FLC homolog BvFL1 is, like FLC, a repressor of flowering that is downregulated in response to cold. In addition we show that allelic variants at this locus are more abundant in the wild progenitor subspecies Beta vulgaris subsp maritima than in any of the cultivated lines we assayed. Flowering time is a trait of critical agronomic importance and considerable ecological interest. Assessment of functional variation at this key regulatory locus may be of value for ex situ conservation and may present an opportunity to study (and control) flowering time as a tool in applied plant breeding efforts.

Last Modified: 05/24/2017
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