Identification of three FLOWERING LOCUS C genes responsible for vernalization response in radish (Raphanus sativus L.)
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Raphanus sativus L. is grown worldwide and used as fresh vegetables. In the Brassicaceae family, the FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) gene is a key regulator of flowering time and explains a large part of natural flowering time variation and the vernalization response. Here we report three FLC orthologous genes RsFLC1, RsFLC2, and RsFLC3 in R. sativus identified from the de novo assembled transcriptome. The sequences of three RsFLC genes have a high similarity to Arabidopsis FLC. Overexpression of each RsFLC gene in Arabidopsis induced late flowering, suggesting that every RsFLC gene functions as a floral repressor. All RsFLC genes were highly expressed in non-vernalized plants, whereas their expression levels significantly decreased by the vernalization treatment. Furthermore, the rate of decrease in their expression was proportional to the length of cold exposure. A significant level of sequence variation exists among RsFLC alleles derived from a variety of Raphanus cultivars, suggesting that RsFLC genes have diverged considerably but still retain essential functions.
Additional key wordsfloral repressor flowering time orthologous gene RsFLC transcriptome
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