Key message: FT gene is expressed in leaves and buds and is involved in floral meristem determination and bud development in sweet cherry. Abstract: In woody fruit perennial trees, floral determination, dormancy and bloom, depends on perception of different environmental and endogenous cues which converge to a systemic signaling gene known as FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT). In long-day flowering plants, FT is expressed in the leaves on long days. The protein travels through the phloem to the shoot apical meristem, where it induces flower determination. In perennial plants, meristem determination and flowering are separated by a dormancy period. Meristem determination takes place in summer, but flowering occurs only after a dormancy period and cold accumulation during winter. The roles of FT are not completely clear in meristem determination, dormancy release, and flowering in perennial plants. We cloned FT from sweet cherry (Prunus avium) and analyzed its expression pattern in leaves and floral buds during spring and summer. Phylogenetic analysis shows high identity of the FT cloned sequence with orthologous genes from other Rosaceae species. Our results show that FT is expressed in both leaves and floral buds and increases when the daylight reached 12 h. The peak in FT expression was coincident with floral meristem identity genes expression and morphological changes typical of floral meristem determination. The Edi-0 Arabidopsis ecotype, which requires vernalization to flower, was transformed with a construct for overexpression of PavFT. These transgenic plants showed an early-flowering phenotype without cold treatment. Our results suggest that FT is involved in floral meristem determination and bud development in sweet cherry. Moreover, we show that FT is expressed in both leaves and floral buds in this species, in contrast to annual plants.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Biología celular