Genetic variation in yield under hot ambient temperatures spotlights a role for cytokinin in protection of developing floral primordia

Shiri Sobol, Noam Chayut, Nahum Nave, Dinesh Kafle, Martin Hegele, Rina Kaminetsky, Jens N. Wünsche, Alon Samach*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Unusually hot ambient temperatures (HAT) can cause pre-anthesis abortion of flowers in many diverse species, limiting crop production. This limitation is becoming more substantial with climate change. Flower primordia of passion fruit (Passiflora edulis Sims) vines exposed to HAT summers, normally abort. Flower abortion can also be triggered by gibberellin application. We screened for, and identified a genotype capable of reaching anthesis during summer as well as controlled HAT conditions, and also more resistant to gibberellin. Leaves of this genotype contained higher levels of endogenous cytokinin. We investigated a possible connection between higher cytokinin levels and response to gibberellin. Indeed, the effects of gibberellin application were partially suppressed in plants pretreated with cytokinin. Can higher cytokinin levels protect flowers from aborting under HAT conditions? In passion fruit, flowers at a specific stage showed more resistance in response to HAT after cytokinin application. We further tested this hypothesis in Arabidopsis. Transgenic lines with high or low cytokinin levels and cytokinin applications to wild-type plants supported a protective role for cytokinin on developing flowers exposed to HAT. Such findings may have important implications in future breeding programmes as well as field application of growth regulators. Unusually high ambient temperatures (HAT) can cause pre-anthesis abortion of flowers in many diverse species, limiting crop production. A passion fruit genotype with higher resistance to HAT flower abortion was identified and analyzed. Our findings, further tested in Arabidopsis, suggest a protective role for cytokinin on developing flowers exposed to HAT. Cytokinin may influence this process through reduction in gibberellin activity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)643-657
Number of pages15
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • Arabidopsis
  • Flower development
  • Gibberellins
  • Natural variation
  • Off-season flowering
  • Passiflora edulis
  • Plastochron.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic variation in yield under hot ambient temperatures spotlights a role for cytokinin in protection of developing floral primordia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this