Promotion of flowering and reduction of a generation time in apple seedlings by ectopical expression of the Arabidopsis thaliana FT gene using the Apple latent spherical virus vector
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- Yamagishi, N., Sasaki, S., Yamagata, K. et al. Plant Mol Biol (2011) 75: 193. doi:10.1007/s11103-010-9718-0
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Tree crops have a long juvenile period which is a serious constraint for genetic improvement and experimental research. For example, apple remains in a juvenile phase for more than five years after seed germination. Here, we report about induction of rapid flowering in apple seedlings using the Apple latent spherical virus (ALSV) vector expressing a FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) gene from Arabidopsis thaliana. Apple seedlings could be flowered at 1.5–2 months after inoculation to cotyledons of seeds just after germination with ALSV expressing the FT gene. A half of precocious flowers was normal in appearance with sepals, petals, stamens, and pistils. Pollen from a precocious flower successfully pollinated flowers of ‘Fuji’ apple from which fruits developed normally and next-generation seeds were produced. Our system using the ALSV vector promoted flowering time of apple seedlings within two months after germination and shortened the generation time from seed germination to next-generation seed maturation to within 7 months when pollen from precocious flowers was used for pollination.