, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 253-262

Modulation of flowering responses in different Nicotiana varieties

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We have identified and characterized a FLOWERING PROMOTING FACTOR 1(FPF1) gene from tobacco (NtFPF1). Over-expression of NtFPF1 leads to early flowering in the day-neutral tobacco Nicotiana tabacum cv. Hicks, and under inductive photoperiods also in the short-day Nicotiana tabacum cv. Hicks Maryland Mammoth (MM) tobacco and the long-day plant Nicotiana sylvestris. N. sylvestris wild-type plants remained in the rosette stage and never flowered under non-inductive short-days, whereas 35S::NtFPF1 transgenic plants bolted but did not flower. However, if treated with gibberellins, transgenic N. sylvestrisplants flowered much faster under non-inductive short days than corresponding wild type plants, indicating an additive effect of gibberellins and the NtFPF1 protein in flowering time control. The day-neutral wild type cv. Hicks and the short-day cv. Hicks MM plants exhibit an initial rosette stage, both under short- and long-days. In the transgenic lines, this rosette stage was completely abolished. Wild-type plants of cv. Hicks MM never flowered under long days; however, all transgenic lines over-expressing NtFPF1 flowered under this otherwise non-inductive photoperiod.