, Volume 35, Issue 1-2, pp 167-177

Comparative genetics of flowering time

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Abstract

Analysis of genes controlling flowering time (heading date) contributes to our understanding of fundamental principles of plant development and is of practical importance because of the effects of flowering time on plant adaptation and crop yield. This review discusses the extent to which plants may share common genetic mechanisms for the control of flowering time and the implications of such conservation for gene isolation from the major cereal crops. Gene isolation may exploit the small genome of rice in map-based approaches, utilizing the conservation of gene order that is revealed when common DNA markers are mapped in different species. Alternatively, mechanisms may be conserved within plants as a whole, in which case genes cloned from the model dicot Arabidopsis thaliana provide an alternative route.