Submitted to: American Society of Sugarbeet Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/25/2006
Publication Date: 3/3/2007
Citation: Fenwick, A., Larson, R.L., Reeves, P.A., Richards, C.M., Panella, L.W. 2007. Virus induced gene silencing of a gene repressing flowering in sugar beet. American Society of Sugarbeet Technologists.
Technical Abstract: Exposure to a prolonged cold period during winter is necessary for flowering in the next spring in many biennial plants - a process termed vernalization. We have described BvFL1, a vernalization gene in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris), which is a repressor of flowering that is downregulated in response to cold. This gene is a homolog to the MADS-bx gene FLOWRING LOCUS C(FLC)found in Arabidopsis thaliana. Flowering time is a trait of critical agronomic importance, and an assessment of function at this key regulatory locus may present an opportunity to study (and control) flowering time as a tool in applied plant breeding efforts. Virus induced gene silencing constructs were engineered into a Barley stripe mosaic virus (BSMV) vector for use in blocking expression of the BVFL1 gene in sugarbeet. Four antisense constructs were designed to target sensitive regions of the BvFL1 gene. Engineered BSMV was passaged through Quinoa (Chenopodium Quinoa) and applied to sugar beet plant of varied ages to see if flowering could be induced without vernalization.