BrFLC5: a weak regulator of flowering time in Brassica rapa
A splicing site mutation in BrFLC5, a non-syntenic paralogue of FLOWERING LOCUS C, was demonstrated to be related to flowering time variation in Brassica rapa.
Flowering time regulation in Brassica rapa is more complex than in Arabidopsis, as there are multiple paralogues of flowering time genes in B. rapa. Brassica rapa contains four FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) genes, three of which are syntenic orthologues of AtFLC, while BrFLC5 is not. BrFLC1, BrFLC2, and BrFLC3 have been reported to be involved in flowering time regulation. However, BrFLC5 has thus far been deemed a pseudogene. We detected two alternative splicing patterns of BrFLC5 resulting from a nucleotide mutation (G/A) at the first nucleotide of intron 3 (named as Pi3+1(G/A)). Genotyping of BrFLC5Pi3 + 1(G/A) for 301 B. rapa accessions showed that this single nucleotide polymorphism was significantly related to flowering time variation (p < 0.001). In the collection, the frequency of the functional G allele (35.2%) was much lower than that of the nonfunctional A allele (59.1%); however, the frequency of the G allele was very high among the turnips (83.6%). An F2 population segregating at this locus was developed to analyze the genetic effect of BrFLC5. The result showed that the G allele individuals began to bolt two days later than the A allele individuals, indicating that BrFLC5 is a weak regulator of flowering time. BrFLC5 was expressed at the lowest level among the three analyzed BrFLCs. The late allele (G allele) was dominant to the early allele (A allele) at the BrFLC5 locus, which was in contrast to that of BrFLC1 and BrFLC2. This characteristic suggests that BrFLC5 would be more efficient for breeding premature bolting resistance in B. rapa.
This research work was supported by The National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFD0101007), and the Science and Technology Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Horticultural Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, P.R. China.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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