Arabidopsis MSI1 functions in photoperiodic flowering time control.
ABSTRACT: Appropriate timing of flowering is crucial for crop yield and the reproductive success of plants. Flowering can be induced by a number of molecular pathways that respond to internal and external signals such as photoperiod, vernalization or light quality, ambient temperature and biotic as well as abiotic stresses. The key florigenic signal FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) is regulated by several flowering activators, such as CONSTANS (CO), and repressors, such as FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). Chromatin modifications are essential for regulated gene expression, which often involves the well conserved MULTICOPY SUPRESSOR OF IRA 1 (MSI1)-like protein family. MSI1-like proteins are ubiquitous partners of various complexes, such as POLYCOMB REPRESSIVE COMPLEX2 or CHROMATIN ASSEMBLY FACTOR 1. In Arabidopsis, one of the functions of MSI1 is to control the switch to flowering. Arabidopsis MSI1 is needed for the correct expression of the floral integrator gene SUPPRESSOR OF CO 1 (SOC1). Here, we show that the histone-binding protein MSI1 acts in the photoperiod pathway to regulate normal expression of CO in long day (LD) photoperiods. Reduced expression of CO in msi1-mutants leads to failure of FT and SOC1 activation and to delayed flowering. MSI1 is needed for normal sensitivity of Arabidopsis to photoperiod, because msi1-mutants responded less than wild type to an intermittent LD treatment of plants grown in short days. Finally, genetic analysis demonstrated that MSI1 acts upstream of the CO-FT pathway to enable an efficient photoperiodic response and to induce flowering.
Project description:Appropriate control of flowering time is crucial for crop yield and the reproductive success of plants. Flowering can be induced by a number of molecular pathways that respond to internal and external signals. In Arabidopsis, expression of the key florigenic signal FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) is positively regulated by CONSTANS (CO) a BBX protein sharing high sequence similarity with 16 CO-like proteins. Within this study, we investigated the role of the Arabidopsis CONSTANS-LIKE 4 (COL4), whose role in flowering control was unknown. We demonstrate that, unlike CO, COL4 is a flowering repressor in long days (LD) and short days (SD) and acts on the expression of FT and FT-like genes as well as on SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (SOC1). Reduction of COL4 expression level leads to an increase of FT and APETALA 1 (AP1) expression and to accelerated flowering, while the increase of COL4 expression causes a flowering delay. Further, the observed co-localization of COL4 protein and CO in nuclear speckles supports the idea that the two act as an antagonistic pair of transcription factors. This interaction may serve the fine-tuning of flowering time control and other light dependent plant developmental processes.
Project description:Arabidopsis flowers early under long days (LD) and late under short days (SD). The repressor of photomorphogenesis DE-ETIOLATED1 (DET1) delays flowering; det1-1 mutants flower early, especially under SD, but the molecular mechanism of DET1 regulation remains unknown. Here we examine the regulatory function of DET1 in repression of flowering. Under SD, the det1-1 mutation causes daytime expression of FKF1 and CO; however, their altered expression has only a small effect on early flowering in det1-1 mutants. Notably, DET1 interacts with GI and binding of GI to the FT promoter increases in det1-1 mutants, suggesting that DET1 mainly restricts GI function, directly promoting FT expression independent of CO expression. Moreover, DET1 interacts with MSI4/FVE, which epigenetically inhibits FLC expression, indicating that the lack of FLC expression in det1-1 mutants likely involves altered histone modifications at the FLC locus. These data demonstrate that DET1 acts in both photoperiod and autonomous pathways to inhibit expression of FT and SOC1. Consistent with this, the early flowering of det1-1 mutants disappears completely in the ft-1 soc1-2 double mutant background. Thus, we propose that DET1 is a strong repressor of flowering and has a pivotal role in maintaining photoperiod sensitivity in the regulation of flowering time.
Project description:Stomatal movements are regulated by many environmental signals, such as light, CO2, temperature, humidity, and drought. Recently, we showed that photoperiodic flowering components have positive effects on light-induced stomatal opening in Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we determined that light-induced stomatal opening and increased stomatal conductance were larger in plants grown under long-day (LD) conditions than in those grown under short-day (SD) conditions. Gene expression analyses using purified guard cell protoplasts revealed that FT and SOC1 expression levels were significantly increased under LD conditions. Interestingly, the enhancement of light-induced stomatal opening and increased SOC1 expression in guard cells due to LD conditions persisted for at least 1 week after plants were transferred to SD conditions. We then investigated histone modification using chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR, and observed increased trimethylation of lysine 4 on histone 3 (H3K4) around SOC1. We also found that LD-dependent enhancement of light-induced stomatal opening and H3K4 trimethylation in SOC1 were suppressed in the ft-2 mutant. These results indicate that photoperiod is an important environmental cue regulating stomatal opening, and that LD conditions enhance light-induced stomatal opening and epigenetic modification (H3K4 trimethylation) around SOC1, a positive regulator of stomatal opening, in an FT-dependent manner. Thus, this study provides novel insights into stomatal responses to photoperiod.
Project description:Like Arabidopsis thaliana, the flowering of the legume Medicago truncatula is promoted by long day (LD) photoperiod and vernalization. However, there are differences in the molecular mechanisms involved, with orthologs of two key Arabidopsis thaliana regulators, FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) and CONSTANS (CO), being absent or not having a role in flowering time function in Medicago. In Arabidopsis, the MADS-box transcription factor gene, SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (AtSOC1), plays a key role in integrating the photoperiodic and vernalization pathways. In this study, we set out to investigate whether the Medicago SOC1 genes play a role in regulating flowering time. Three Medicago SOC1 genes were identified and characterized (MtSOC1a-MtSOC1c). All three MtSOC1 genes, when heterologously expressed, were able to promote earlier flowering of the late-flowering Arabidopsis soc1-2 mutant. The three MtSOC1 genes have different patterns of expression. However, consistent with a potential role in flowering time regulation, all three MtSOC1 genes are expressed in the shoot apex and are up-regulated in the shoot apex of plants in response to LD photoperiods and vernalization. The up-regulation of MtSOC1 genes was reduced in Medicago fta1-1 mutants, indicating that they are downstream of MtFTa1. Insertion mutant alleles of Medicago soc1b do not flower late, suggestive of functional redundancy among Medicago SOC1 genes in promoting flowering.
Project description:Flowering at the appropriate time is crucial for reproductive success and is strongly influenced by various pathways such as photoperiod, circadian clock, FRIGIDA and vernalization. Although each separate pathway has been extensively studied, much less is known about the interactions between them. In this study we have investigated the relationship between the photoperiod/circadian clock gene and FRIGIDA/FLC by characterizing the function of the B-box STO gene family. STO has two B-box Zn-finger domains but lacks the CCT domain. Its expression is controlled by circadian rhythm and is affected by environmental factors and phytohormones. Loss and gain of function mutants show diversiform phenotypes from seed germination to flowering. The sto-1 mutant flowers later than the wild type (WT) under short day growth conditions, while over-expression of STO causes early flowering both in long and short days. STO over-expression not only reduces FLC expression level but it also activates FT and SOC1 expression. It also does not rely on the other B-box gene CO or change the circadian clock system to activate FT and SOC1. Furthermore, the STO activation of FT and SOC1 expression is independent of the repression of FLC; rather STO and FLC compete with each other to regulate downstream genes. Our results indicate that photoperiod and the circadian clock pathway gene STO can affect the key flowering time genes FLC and FT/SOC1 separately, and reveals a novel perspective to the mechanism of flowering regulation.
Project description:Age-related resistance (ARR) is a plant defense response characterized by enhanced resistance to certain pathogens in mature plants relative to young plants. In Arabidopsis thaliana the transition to flowering is associated with ARR competence, suggesting that this developmental event is the switch that initiates ARR competence in mature plants (Rusterucci et al. in Physiol Mol Plant Pathol 66:222-231, 2005). The association of ARR and the floral transition was examined using flowering-time mutants and photoperiod-induced flowering to separate flowering from other developmental events that occur as plants age. Under short-day conditions, late-flowering plant lines ld-1 (luminidependens-1), soc1-2 (suppressor of overexpression of co 1-2), and FRI (+) (FRIGIDA) displayed ARR before the transition to flowering occurred. Early-flowering svp-31, svp-32 (short vegetative phase), and Ws-2 were ARR-defective, whereas early-flowering tfl1-14 (terminal flower 1-14) displayed ARR at the same time as Col-0. While svp-31, svp-32 and Ws-2 produced few rosette leaves, tfl1-14 produced a rosette leaf number similar to Col-0, suggesting that the development of a minimum number of rosette leaves is necessary to initiate ARR competence under short-day conditions. Photoperiod-induced transient expression of FT (FLOWERING LOCUS T) caused precocious flowering in short-day-grown Col-0 but this was not associated with ARR competence. Under long-day conditions co-9 (constans-9) mutants did not flower but displayed an ARR response at the same time as Col-0. This study suggests that SVP is required for the ARR response and that the floral transition is not the developmental event that regulates ARR competence.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Flowering reversion can be induced in soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.), a typical short-day (SD) dicot, by switching from SD to long-day (LD) photoperiods. This process may involve florigen, putatively encoded by FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, little is known about the potential function of soybean FT homologs in flowering reversion. METHODS: A photoperiod-responsive FT homologue GmFT (renamed as GmFT2a hereafter) was cloned from the photoperiod-sensitive cultivar Zigongdongdou. GmFT2a gene expression under different photoperiods was analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR. In situ hybridization showed direct evidence for its expression during flowering-related processes. GmFT2a was shown to promote flowering using transgenic studies in Arabidopsis and soybean. The effects of photoperiod and temperature on GmFT2a expression were also analyzed in two cultivars with different photoperiod-sensitivities. RESULTS: GmFT2a expression is regulated by photoperiod. Analyses of GmFT2a transcripts revealed a strong correlation between GmFT2a expression and flowering maintenance. GmFT2a transcripts were observed continuously within the vascular tissue up to the shoot apex during flowering. By contrast, transcripts decreased to undetectable levels during flowering reversion. In grafting experiments, the early-flowering, photoperiod-insensitive stock Heihe27 promotes the appearance of GmFT2a transcripts in the shoot apex of scion Zigongdongdou under noninductive LD conditions. The photothermal effects of GmFT2a expression diversity in cultivars with different photoperiod-sensitivities and a hypothesis is proposed. CONCLUSION: GmFT2a expression is associated with flowering induction and maintenance. Therefore, GmFT2a is a potential target gene for soybean breeding, with the aim of increasing geographic adaptation of this crop.
Project description:Floral transition and flower development are regulated by numerous environmental and endogenous signals, which are integrated at a relatively small number of floral integrators, such as FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and SUPPRESSOR OF CONSTANS OVEREXPRESSION 1 (SOC1). Of the environmental factors, photoperiod is regarded the most important one in promoting floral transition in Arabidopsis thaliana and most labstrains will flower earlier under long day (LD) conditions than under short day (SD) conditions. Arabidopsis is therefore considered a facultative LD plant. To monitor gene expression changes during floral transition and early flower development plants were grown under SD (9 hr light, 15 hr dark) for 30 days. Plants were then shifted to LD (16 hr light, 8 hr dark) conditions to induce flowering. RNA was isolated from micro-dissected apical tissue harvested 0, 3, 5, and 7 days after the shift to LD and double-stranded cDNA was synthesized. Biotinylated cRNA probes were prepared and hybridized to the Affymetrix ATH1 array in duplicate (biological replicates). To study floral transition, we not only analyzed response of wildtype Landsberg erecta (Ler) plants, but also the effect of mutants in the flowering time genes CONSTANS (CO; co-2) and FT (ft-2). Early flower development was analyzed by comparing Col-0 wildtype plants with the meristem identity mutant lfy-12 (Col-0).
Project description:Arabidopsis ESD7 locus encodes the catalytic subunit of the DNA Pol ? involved in the synthesis of the DNA leading strand and is essential for embryo viability. The hypomorphic allele esd7-1 is viable but displays a number of pleiotropic phenotypic alterations including an acceleration of flowering time. Furthermore, Pol ? is involved in the epigenetic silencing of the floral integrator genes FT and SOC1, but the molecular nature of the transcriptional gene silencing mechanisms involved remains elusive. Here we reveal that ESD7 interacts with components of the PRC2 such as CLF, EMF2 and MSI1, and that mutations in ESD7 cause a decrease in the levels of the H3K27me3 mark present in the chromatin of FT and SOC1 We also demonstrate that a domain of the C-terminal region of ESD7 mediates the binding to the different PRC2 components and this interaction is necessary for the proper recruitment of PRC2 to FT and SOC1 chromatin. We unveil the existence of interplay between the DNA replication machinery and the PcG complexes in epigenetic transcriptional silencing. These observations provide an insight into the mechanisms ensuring that the epigenetic code at pivotal loci in developmental control is faithfully transmitted to the progeny of eukaryotic cells.
Project description:Carrot (Daucus carota L.) is a biennial plant requiring vernalization to induce flowering, but long days can promote its premature bolting and flowering. The basic genetic network controlling the flowering time has been constructed for carrot, but there is limited information on the molecular mechanisms underlying the photoperiodic flowering response. The published carrot genome could provide an effective tool for systematically retrieving the key integrator genes of GIGANTEA (GI), CONSTANS-LIKE (COL), FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT), and SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (SOC1) homologues in the photoperiod pathway. In this study, the bolting time of wild species "Songzi" (Ws) could be regulated by different photoperiods, but the orange cultivar "Amsterdam forcing" (Af) displayed no bolting phenomenon. According to the carrot genome and previous de novo transcriptome, 1 DcGI, 15 DcCOLs, 2 DcFTs, and 3 DcSOC1s were identified in the photoperiod pathway. The circadian rhythm peaks of DcGI, DcCOL2, DcCOL5a, and DcCOL13b could be delayed under long days (LDs). The peak value of DcCOL2 in Af (12.9) was significantly higher than that in Ws (6.8) under short day (SD) conditions, and was reduced under LD conditions (5.0). The peak values of DcCOL5a in Ws were constantly higher than those in Af under the photoperiod treatments. The expression levels of DcFT1 in Ws (463.0) were significantly upregulated under LD conditions compared with those in Af (1.4). These responses of DcCOL2, DcCOL5a, and DcFT1 might be related to the different bolting responses of Ws and Af. This study could provide valuable insights into understanding the key integrator genes in the carrot photoperiod pathway.