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The Medicago FLOWERING LOCUS T Homolog, MtFTa1, Is a Key Regulator of Flowering Time


Laurie, RE and Diwadkar, P and Jaudal, M and Zhang, L and Hecht, V and Wen, J and Tadege, M and Mysore, KS and Putterill, J and Weller, JL and Macknight, RC, The Medicago FLOWERING LOCUS T Homolog, MtFTa1, Is a Key Regulator of Flowering Time, Plant Physiology, 156, (4) pp. 2207-2224. ISSN 0032-0889 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2011 by the American Society of Plant Biologists

DOI: doi:10.1104/pp.111.180182


FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) genes encode proteins that function as the mobile floral signal, florigen. In this study, we characterized five FT-like genes from the model legume, Medicago (Medicago truncatula). The different FT genes showed distinct patterns of expression and responses to environmental cues. Three of the FT genes (MtFTa1, MtFTb1, and MtFTc) were able to complement the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) ft-1 mutant, suggesting that they are capable of functioning as florigen. MtFTa1 is the only one of the FT genes that is up-regulated by both long days (LDs) and vernalization, conditions that promote Medicago flowering, and transgenic Medicago plants overexpressing the MtFTa1 gene flowered very rapidly. The key role MtFTa1 plays in regulating flowering was demonstrated by the identification of fta1 mutants that flowered significantly later in all conditions examined. fta1 mutants do not respond to vernalization but are still responsive to LDs, indicating that the induction of flowering by prolonged cold acts solely through MtFTa1, whereas photoperiodic induction of flowering involves other genes, possibly MtFTb1, which is only expressed in leaves under LD conditions and therefore might contribute to the photoperiodic regulation of flowering. The role of the MtFTc gene is unclear, as the ftc mutants did not have any obvious flowering-time or other phenotypes. Overall, this work reveals the diversity of the regulation and function of the Medicago FT family.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Hecht, V (Dr Valerie Hecht)
UTAS Author:Weller, JL (Associate Professor Jim Weller)
ID Code:72266
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:100
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2011-08-24
Last Modified:2017-11-02

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