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Over-expression of the photoperiod response regulator <i>ZmCCT10</i> modifies plant architecture, flowering time and inflorescence morphology in maize

By Elizabeth Stephenson (6307739), Stacey Estrada (6307742), Xin Meng (140656), Jesse Ourada (6307745), Michael G. Muszynski (6307748), Jeffrey E. Habben (52287) and Olga N. Danilevskaya (241507)

Abstract

<div><p>Maize originated as a tropical plant that required short days to transition from vegetative to reproductive development. <i>ZmCCT10</i> [CO, CONSTANS, <i>CO-LIKE</i> and <i>TIMING OF CAB1</i> (<i>CCT</i>) transcription factor family] is a regulator of photoperiod response and was identified as a major QTL controlling photoperiod sensitivity in maize. We modulated expression of <i>ZmCCT10</i> in transgenic maize using two constitutive promoters with different expression levels. Transgenic plants over expressing <i>ZmCCT10</i> with either promoter were delayed in their transition from vegetative to reproductive development but were not affected in their switch from juvenile-to-adult vegetative growth. Strikingly, transgenic plants containing the stronger expressing construct had a prolonged period of vegetative growth accompanied with dramatic modifications to plant architecture that impacted both vegetative and reproductive traits. These plants did not produce ears, but tassels were heavily branched. In more than half of the transgenic plants, tassels were converted into a branched leafy structure resembling phyllody, often composed of vegetative plantlets. Analysis of expression modules controlling the floral transition and meristem identity linked these networks to photoperiod dependent regulation, whereas phase change modules appeared to be photoperiod independent. Results from this study clarified the influence of the photoperiod pathway on vegetative and reproductive development and allowed for the fine-tuning of the maize flowering time model.</p></div

Topics: Ecology, Developmental Biology, Infectious Diseases, Plant Biology, Biological Sciences not elsewhere classified, ZmCCT 10, CONSTANS, phase change modules, CAB, transcription factor family, photoperiod response regulator ZmCCT 10, QTL, CO, CO-LIKE, TIMING, plant architecture, transition, maize flowering time model, expression
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203728
OAI identifier: oai:figshare.com:article/7681289
Provided by: FigShare
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