Expression of the Lolium perenne Terminal Flower 1 Gene in Alfalfa and Tobacco
The Terminal Flower 1 gene of Lolium perenne (LpTFL1) was overexpressed in Festuca rubra and Arabidopsis thaliana, and a delay or even the complete suppression of flowering was obtained. We have evaluated the LpTFL1 GENE as a possible candidate to delay or prevent the flower transition process in alfalfa. This may be useful in forage crops to lengthen the vegetative phase, and in transgenic crops to control gene flow. Alfalfa was transformed via Agrobacterium tumefaciens using the binary vector pCAMBIA3300-LpTFL1 (kindly provided by C. S. Jensen), in which the LpTFL1 gene was under the control of the Zea mais Ubiquitin promoter. To ensure a high level of expression of the gene, in a second construct, the CaMV 35S dual-enhancer promoter was used. RT PCR analysis confirmed the expression of LpTFL1 in several transgenic alfalfa plants. These were phenotypically normal throughout the growth cycle, flowering was unaffected, and the plants set seed normally; the same was true for tobacco, that was transformed with the same constructs. Our results indicate that LpTFL1 cannot be used for flowering repression in alfalfa.
KeywordsSomatic Embryo Perennial Ryegrass Selectable Marker Gene Inflorescence Meristem Medicago Sativa Genotype
Funding was provided by the Italian Ministry of University and Science, project: Impact of genetic engineering on the alfalfa genome and strategies to reduce it, PRIN 2007 (prot. 2007NEF8ZK 003, PI Daniele Rosellini).
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