Over-expression of Arabidopsis FT gene reduces juvenile phase and induces early flowering in ornamental gentian plants
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Ornamental gentian plants are perennial and have a juvenile period of over 1 year before flowering. We transformed gentian plants with a construct comprising the Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) gene (encoding a major component protein of the flowering hormone ‘florigen’) under the control of the rolC promoter from Agrobacterium rhizogenes, which is known to induce vascular-specific expression. The resultant rolCpro-FT transgenic gentian plants showed early flowering in vitro and the earliest line formed floral buds within 4 months after transformation. Regeneration experiments from leaf explants of these rolCpro-FT transgenic plants also confirmed the early flowering phenotype. After acclimatization, these transgenic plants showed normal floral development in a closed greenhouse. There is no effective method to induce early flowering by cultivation management in gentian, therefore these lines might be very useful as annual early season cultivars.
KeywordsEarly flowering FT Gentian In vitro flowering Transgenic plant
We thank J. Kuzuo, C. Yoshida and R. Takahashi, Iwate Biotechnology Research Center, for technical assistance. We also thank J. Abe and H. Kawamura, Iwate Agriculture Research Center, for their helpful suggestions. The authors thank Dr. M. Takagi, Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, for providing a vector harboring the Arabidopsis FT gene. This study was supported in part by a Programme for Promotion of Basic and Applied Researches for Innovations in Bio-oriented Industry (Japan).
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