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Conservation of Arabidopsis thaliana photoperiodic flowering time genes in onion (Allium cepa L.)\ud

By Andrew Taylor, Andrea J. Massiah and Brian Thomas

Abstract

The genetics underlying onion development is poorly understood. Here the characterisation of onion homologues of Arabidopsis photoperiodic flowering pathway genes is reported with the end goal of accelerating onion breeding programmes by understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to different latitudes. \ud The expression of onion GI, FKF1 and ZTL homologues under SD and LD conditions was examined using quantitative RT-PCR. The expression of AcGI and AcFKF1 was examined in onion varieties which exhibit different daylength responses. Phylogenetic trees were constructed to confirm the identity of the homologues. \ud AcGI and AcFKF1 showed diurnal expression patterns similar to their Arabidopsis counterparts while AcZTL was found to be constitutively expressed. AcGI showed similar expression patterns in varieties which exhibit different daylength responses whereas AcFKF1 showed differences. It is proposed that these differences could contribute to the different daylength responses in these varieties. Phylogenetic analyses showed that all the genes isolated are very closely related to their proposed homologues. \ud The results presented here show that key genes controlling photoperiodic flowering in Arabidopsis are conserved in onion and a role for these genes in the photoperiodic control of bulb initiation is predicted. This theory is supported by expression and phylogenetic data. \u

Topics: QK, SB
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:862

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