, Volume 73, Issue 1-2, pp 37-47
Date: 08 Mar 2010

Light and temperature sensing and signaling in induction of bud dormancy in woody plants

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In woody species cycling between growth and dormancy must be precisely synchronized with the seasonal climatic variations. Cessation of apical growth, resulting from exposure to short photoperiod (SD) and altered light quality, is gating the chain of events resulting in bud dormancy and cold hardiness. The relative importance of these light parameters, sensed by phytochromes and possibly a blue light receptor, varies with latitude. Early in SD, changes in expression of light signaling components dominate. In Populus active shoot elongation is linked to high expression of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) resulting from coincidence of high levels of CONSTANS and light at the end of days longer than a critical one. In Picea, PaFT4 expression increases substantially in response to SD. Thus, in contrast to Populus-FT, PaFT4 appears to function in inhibition of shoot elongation or promotion of growth cessation. Accordingly, different FT-genes appear to have opposite effects in photoperiodic control of shoot elongation. Reduction in gibberellin under SD is involved in control of growth cessation and bud formation, but not further dormancy development. Coinciding with formation of a closed bud, abscisic acid activity increases and cell-proliferation genes are down-regulated. When dormancy is established very few changes in gene expression occur. Thus, maintenance of dormancy is not dependent on comprehensive transcriptional regulation. In some species low temperature induces growth cessation and dormancy, in others temperature affects photoperiod requirement. The temperature under SD affects both the rate of growth cessation, bud formation and depth of dormancy. As yet, information on the molecular basis of these responses to temperature is scarce.