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Evidence of stress induced flowering in bamboo and comments on probable biochemical and molecular factors

Abstract

Bamboo is used as a multi-purpose, non-timber plant worldwide. The variation in flowering time across bamboo species and prolonged interval between vegetative and reproductive phases has attracted researchers over the decade to understand the ecological, physiological, and molecular reasons behind this. Typical flowering pathway genes related to photoperiod, vernalization, and hormonal regulation have been identified in the sequenced bamboo genome Phyllostachys edulis and many of them are transcriptionally active in other bamboo species such as Bambusa tulda. However, growing evidences suggest that stress such as drought may act as an important ‘cue’ to determine the flowering time in bamboo species. Here we provide evidence that indeed, an abundance of ABA, which is the marker hormone for drought response, is higher in young leaf from flowering culm (YLF) than a leaf from non-flowering culm (YLN). We also have observed that fire and pruning can induce flowering in Bambusa tulda, B. balcooa, Dendrocalamus hookeri and Melocanna baccifera. Finally, we discuss on the putative role of stress-induced flowering pathway genes in bamboo. Taken together, the finding of this study will aid in the sustainable management of bamboo resources in India and elsewhere.

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Abbreviations

GA:

Gibberellic acid

IAA:

Indole-3-acetic acid

ABA:

Abscisic acid

YLF:

Young leaf from flowering culm

YLN:

Young leaf from non-flowering culm

GI:

Gigantea

FT:

Flowering Locus T

COA:

Constans A

LHY:

Late elongated hypocoty l

SOC1:

Suppressor of Overexpression of Constans 1

TOC1:

Timing of Cab Expression 1

ZTL:

Zeitlupe 

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Acknowledgements

The research results reported in this paper are funded by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India [38(1386)/14/EMR-II], [38(1493)/19/EMR-II], Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India (BT/PR10778/PBD/16/1070/2014) and FRPDF grant of Presidency University. A part of the study was sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. BGS and EK extend sincere thanks to the DBT and IBSD for providing research support for this work.

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Malay Das, Evanylla Kharlyngdoh and Bharat G. Somkuwar conceptualized the theme of this paper. Subhadeep Biswas performed assays related to metabolite and phyto-hormone evaluation. Amartya Sarkar identified genes related to stress induced flowering. Evanylla Kharlyngdoh, Bharat G. Somkuwar, Smritikana Dutta and Prasun Biswas surveyed, collected data, photographed evidence of stress induced flowering in bamboo. Suman Guha performed statistical analyses. Malay Das wrote the manuscript with the help of all the co-authors. All authors read, edited and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Malay Das.

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Biswas, S., Sarkar, A., Kharlyngdoh, E. et al. Evidence of stress induced flowering in bamboo and comments on probable biochemical and molecular factors. J. Plant Biochem. Biotechnol. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13562-021-00719-4

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Keywords

  • Bamboo flowering
  • Stress
  • Drought
  • Fire
  • Pruning