, Volume 200, Issue 1, pp 32–40

Changes in gene expression in the leaf of Lolium temulentum L. Ceres during the photoperiodic induction of flowering

  • Claire Périlleux
  • Philippe Ongena
  • Georges Bernier

DOI: 10.1007/BF00196646

Cite this article as:
Périlleux, C., Ongena, P. & Bernier, G. Planta (1996) 200: 32. doi:10.1007/BF00196646


Unifoliated plants of Lolium temulentum L. Ceres were induced to flower by a unique 24-h long day (LD) consisting of the extension of the regular 8-h short day (SD) (400 μmol photons·m−2·s−1, fluorescence + incandescence) with incandescence at 10–15 μmol photonsm −2·s−1. The polyadenylated-RNA complement of leaf blade tissues was analysed at 4-h intervals during the photoperiod extension in LD vs. SD, by using two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to resolve in-vitro-translated products. Of the 991 spots that were analysed, none appeared or disappeared during the inductive cycle, i.e. no qualitative effect of floral induction was detected, at any time. Sixty-eight spots were found whose intensity was influenced by lengthening of the photoperiod; 50 of them, i.e. ca. 5% of the population analysed, were affected before the end of the extension period and were thus potentially related to floral induction. Many of these RNAs were not quantitatively constant during a 24-h cycle in SD. Seven of them oscillated according to the ‘light-on’ and the ‘light-off’ signals, among which three seemed to be controlled by phytochrome since their relative amount increased under the standard light conditions but decreased under incandescence even faster than in darkness. The large majority of other RNAs varied with a timing that was not clearly driven by the alternation of light and darkness, indicating that genes related to the biological clock may be especially sensitive to the lengthening of the photoperiod. Furthermore, seven spots were observed that underwent a phase-shift in LD, which consisted, for six of them, of a phase advance of 4–8 h. The steady-state level of CAB mRNA was analysed because the CAB gene family (encoding the chlorophyll a/b-binding proteins of the light-harvesting complexes) is known to be controlled both by the biological clock and phytochrome. In SD, the level was high in the light and low in darkness; the fluctuation was conducted by a circadian rhythm. When plants were exposed to the inductive LD, the peak of mRNA accumulation that was expected according to the endogenous rhythmicity was abolished, possibly because of the change in light quality during the LD extension.

Key words

Biological clock CAB genes Flowering(induction) Gene expression Lolium Photoperiodism Phytochrome 



chlorophyll a/b-binding proteins of the light-harvesting complexes






long day plant(s)


short day(s)


short day plant(s)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Périlleux
    • 1
  • Philippe Ongena
    • 1
  • Georges Bernier
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiologie végétaleInstitut de BotaniqueLiègeBelgium

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