Expression of flowering locus T2 transgene from Pyrus communis L. delays dormancy and leaf senescence in Malus × domestica Borkh, and causes early flowering in tobacco

Aviad Freiman, Sara Golobovitch, Zeev Yablovitz, Eduard Belausov, Yardena Dahan, Reut Peer, Lior Avraham, Zohar Freiman, Dalia Evenor, Moshe Reuveni, Vladimir Sobolev, Marvin Edelman, Yosepha Shahak, Alon Samach, Moshe A. Flaishman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Annual and perennial plants represent two different evolutionary strategies based on differential synchronization of their reproductive development. The mobile signal protein FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) plays a central role in mediating the onset of reproduction in both plant types. Two novel FT-like genes from pear (Pyrus communis)-PcFT1 and PcFT2-were isolated, and their expression profiles were determined for one annual cycle. The effects of PcFT2 on flowering were investigated in annual (tobacco) and perennial (apple) plants by means of grafting and generating transgenic plants. Long-distance graft transmission of PcFT2 in both annual and perennial plants was confirmed using a 35S::. PcFT2- YFP construct. Ectopic overexpression of PcFT2 caused early flowering in tobacco but not in apple. Transgenic apples were less sensitive to short-day-induced dormancy, and this phenotype was also observed in wild-type apples grafted onto the transgenic plants. Comparison of PcFT2 protein structure to the paralogous FT proteins from apple and pear showed alterations that could influence protein structure and thus the florigen-activation complex. PcFT2 protein seems to function by promoting flowering as all other FT proteins in the annual plant tobacco while in the perennial plant apple PcFT2 does not promote flowering but delays senescence. This observation may hint to a modified function of FT2 in perennial plants.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)164-176
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Science
Volume241
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Keywords

  • Dormancy
  • European pear
  • FLOWERING LOCUS T
  • Flowering control
  • Graft transmission
  • Leaf senescence

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