Oct 2, 2012

Analysis of conifer FLOWERING LOCUS T/TERMINAL FLOWER1-like genes provides evidence for dramatic biochemical evolution in the angiosperm FT lineage

The New Phytologist
Maria KlintenäsOve Nilsson

Abstract

In flowering plants, homologs of the Arabidopsis phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein (PEBP) FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) are key components in controlling flowering time. We show here that, although FT homologs are found in all angiosperms with completed genome sequences, there is no evidence to date that FT-like genes exist in other groups of plants. Through phylogeny reconstructions and heterologous expression, we examined the biochemical function of the Picea (spruces) and Pinus (pines) PEBP families - two gymnosperm taxa phylogenetically distant from the angiosperms. We have defined a lineage of gymnosperm PEBP genes, termed the FT/TERMINAL FLOWER1 (TFL1)-like genes, that share sequence characteristics with both the angiosperm FT- and TFL1-like clades. When expressed in Arabidopsis, FT/TFL1-like genes repressed flowering, indicating that the proteins are biochemically more similar to the angiosperm TFL1-like proteins than to the FT-like proteins. This suggests that the regulation of the vegetative-to-reproductive switch might differ in gymnosperms compared with angiosperms. Molecular evolution studies suggest that plasticity at exon 4 contributes to the divergence of FT-like function in floral promotion. In addition, the pre...Continue Reading

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  • Citations26

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Genes, Plant
Plant Carpals
Pinus <subgenus>
Exons
PEBP1 gene
Arabidopsis
Picea excelsa
Picea
Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
Phylogeny

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