ZmSOC1, a MADS-box transcription factor from Zea mays, promotes flowering in Arabidopsis.
ABSTRACT: Zea mays is an economically important crop, but its molecular mechanism of flowering remains largely uncharacterized. The gene, SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (SOC1), integrates multiple flowering signals to regulate floral transition in Arabidopsis. In this study, ZmSOC1 was isolated from Zea mays. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the ZmSOC1 protein contained a highly conserved MADS domain and a typical SOC1 motif. ZmSOC1 protein was localized in the nucleus in protoplasts and showed no transcriptional activation activity in yeast cells. ZmSOC1 was highly expressed in maize reproductive organs, including filaments, ear and endosperm, but expression was very low in embryos; on the other hand, the abiotic stresses could repress ZmSOC1 expression. Overexpression of ZmSOC1 resulted in early flowering in Arabidopsis through increasing the expression of AtLFY and AtAP1. Overall, these results suggest that ZmSOC1 is a flowering promoter in Arabidopsis.
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:Cotton is one of the major world oil crops. Cottonseed oil meets the increasing demand of fried food, ruminant feed, and renewable bio-fuels. MADS intervening keratin-like and C-terminal (MIKC)-type MADS-box genes encode transcription factors that have crucial roles in various plant developmental processes. Nevertheless, this gene family has not been characterized, nor its functions investigated, in cotton. Here, we performed a comprehensive analysis of MIKC-type MADS genes in the tetraploid Gossypium hirsutum L., which is the most widely cultivated cotton species. In total, 110 GhMIKC genes were identified and phylogenetically classified into 13 subfamilies. The Flowering locus C (FLC) subfamily was absent in the Gossypium hirsutum L. genome but is found in Arabidopsis and Vitis vinifera L. Among the genes, 108 were distributed across the 13 A and 12 of the D genome's chromosomes, while two were located in scaffolds. GhMIKCs within subfamilies displayed similar exon/intron characteristics and conserved motif compositions. According to RNA-sequencing, most MIKC genes exhibited high flowering-associated expression profiles. A quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that some crucial MIKC genes determined the identities of the five flower organs. Furthermore, the overexpression of GhAGL17.9 in Arabidopsis caused an early flowering phenotype. Meanwhile, the expression levels of the flowering-related genes CONSTANS (CO), LEAFY (LFY) and SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS1 (SOC1) were significantly increased in these lines. These results provide useful information for future studies of GhMIKCs' regulation of cotton flowering.
Project description:Flowering time is strictly controlled by a combination of internal and external signals that match seed set with favorable environmental conditions. In the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana (Brassicaceae), many of the genes underlying development and evolution of flowering have been discovered. However, much remains unknown about how conserved the flowering gene networks are in plants with different growth habits, gene duplication histories, and distributions. Here we functionally characterize three homologs of the flowering gene Suppressor Of Overexpression of Constans 1 (SOC1) in the short-lived perennial Petunia hybrida (petunia, Solanaceae). Similar to A. thaliana soc1 mutants, co-silencing of duplicated petunia SOC1-like genes results in late flowering. This phenotype is most severe when all three SOC1-like genes are silenced. Furthermore, expression levels of the SOC1-like genes Unshaven (UNS) and Floral Binding Protein 21 (FBP21), but not FBP28, are positively correlated with developmental age. In contrast to A. thaliana, petunia SOC1-like gene expression did not increase with longer photoperiods, and FBP28 transcripts were actually more abundant under short days. Despite evidence of functional redundancy, differential spatio-temporal expression data suggest that SOC1-like genes might fine-tune petunia flowering in response to photoperiod and developmental stage. This likely resulted from modification of SOC1-like gene regulatory elements following recent duplication, and is a possible mechanism to ensure flowering under both inductive and non-inductive photoperiods.
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:Genomic scans for genes that show the signature of past selection have been widely applied to a number of species and have identified a large number of selection candidate genes. In cultivated maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) selection scans have identified several hundred candidate domestication genes by comparing nucleotide diversity and differentiation between maize and its progenitor, teosinte (Z. mays ssp. parviglumis). One of these is a gene called zea agamous-like1 (zagl1), a MADS-box transcription factor, that is known for its function in the control of flowering time. To determine the trait(s) controlled by zagl1 that was (were) the target(s) of selection during maize domestication, we created a set of recombinant chromosome isogenic lines that differ for the maize versus teosinte alleles of zagl1 and which carry cross-overs between zagl1 and its neighbor genes. These lines were grown in a randomized trial and scored for flowering time and domestication related traits. The results indicated that the maize versus teosinte alleles of zagl1 affect flowering time as expected, as well as multiple traits related to ear size with the maize allele conferring larger ears with more kernels. Our results suggest that zagl1 may have been under selection during domestication to increase the size of the maize ear.
Project description:The floral transition in Arabidopsis is tightly controlled by complex genetic regulatory networks in response to endogenous and environmental flowering signals. SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (SOC1) and SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP), two key MADS-domain transcription factors, perceive these signals and function as antagonistic flowering regulators. To understand how they mediate the floral transition, we mapped in vivo binding sites of SOC1 and SVP using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by hybridization to whole-genome tiling arrays (ChIP-chip). Genes encoding proteins with transcription regulator activity and transcription factor activity were the most enriched groups of genes bound by SOC1 and SVP, indicating their central roles in flowering regulatory networks. In combination with gene expression microarray studies, we further identified the genes whose expression was directly regulated by SOC1 or SVP. Among the common direct targets identified, APETALA2 (AP2)-like genes that repress FT and SOC1 expression were downregulated by SOC1, but upregulated by SVP, revealing a complex feedback regulation among key genes determining the integration of flowering signals. SOC1 regulatory regions were also accessed by SOC1 itself and SVP, suggesting that self-activation and repression by SVP contribute to the regulation of SOC1 expression. In addition, ChIP-chip analysis demonstrated that miR156e and miR172a, which are involved in the regulation of AP2-like genes, were direct targets of SOC1 and SVP, respectively. Taken together, these findings reveal that feedback regulatory loops mediated by SOC1 and SVP are essential components of the gene regulatory networks underpinning the integration of flowering signals during the floral transition. soc1-101D and 35S:SVP ChIPed with SOC1 or SVP polyclonal antibody respectively vs. soc1-2 or svp-41 in Arabidopsis 9-day-old whole seedlings
Project description:Background:Health risks arising from heavy metal pollution have attracted global attention. As a result, many studies on the accumulation of heavy metals in soil-plant systems have performed human health risk assessments. Objectives:We aimed to examine the ability of Zea mays (maize) to accumulate heavy metals and assess the bioaccumulation factor (BAF) by collecting, collating, and analyzing data on heavy metal concentrations in Zea mays. Methods:This study reviewed the accumulation of five selected heavy metals, cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) in soil and the corresponding BAF of Zea mays grown on those soils using a systematic search of peer-reviewed scientific journals. A total of 27 research works were reviewed after screening 52 articles for subject matter relevancy, including dumpsites, industrially polluted soils, inorganically fertilized soils, mining sites, smelting sites, municipal wastewater irrigated soils, and a battery waste dumpsite. Results:Among the reviewed sites, concentrations of Cd and Cr were highest at a tin mining site, where prolonged mining, mineral processing and other production activities contributed heavy metal pollution in the soil. The soil at a battery waste dumpsite exhibited the highest Pb concentration, while the soil at a Zn smelting site presented the highest concentration of Zn. The highest soil Cu concentration was found in an area where sewage irrigation had been carried out over a long period. The BAF of the five heavy metals in Zea mays increased with the metal concentrations in the soil. The BAF of Cd, Cr, Pb, Cu, and Zn in Zea mays from the study areas fall within the ranges of 0-0.95, 0-1.89, 0-1.20, 0.011-0.99, and 0.03-0.99, respectively. Cadmium and Zn had the highest bioconcentration factors values in maize plants, likely due to their higher mobility rate compared to the other heavy metals. Conclusions:The study concluded that Zea mays is capable of accumulating high amounts of heavy metals, although accumulation of these heavy metals is influenced by multiple factors including soil texture, cation exchange capacity, root exudation and especially soil pH and chemical forms of the heavy metals. Zea mays should not be planted on metal-contaminated soils because of its potential to act as a hyperaccumulator. Competing Interests:The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Project description:Epimedium L. (Berberidaceae, Ranales), a perennial traditional Chinese medicinal herb, has become a new popular landscape plant for ground cover and pot culture in many countries based on its excellent ornamental characteristics and, distinctive and diverse floral morphology. However, little is known about the molecular genetics of flower development in Epimedium sagittatum. Here, we describe the characterization of EsSVP that encodes a protein sharing 68, 54, and 35% similarity with SVP, AGAMOUS-like 24 (AGL24) and SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (SOC1) in Arabidopsis, respectively. Quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) indicated that EsSVP transcripts were principally found in petiole and leaf tissues, with little expression in roots and flowers and no in fruits. The highest EsSVP expression was observed in leaves. The flowering time of 35S::EsSVP in most Arabidopsis thaliana and in all petunia plants was not affected in both photoperiod conditions, but 35S::EsSVP 5# and 35S::EsSVP 1# Arabidopsis lines induced late and early flowering under long day (LD, 14 h light/10 h dark) and short day (SD, 10 h light/14 h dark) conditions, respectively. The 35S::EsSVP Arabidopsis produced extra secondary inflorescence or floral meristems in the axils of the leaf-like sepals with excrescent trichomes, and leaf-like sepals not able to enclose the inner three whorls completely. Moreover, almost all transgenic Arabidopsis plants showed persistent sepals around the completely matured fruits. Upon ectopic expression of 35S::EsSVP in Petunia W115, sepals were enlarged, sometimes to the size of leaves; corollas were greenish and did not fully open. These results suggest that EsSVP is involved in inflorescence meristem identity and flowering time regulation in some conditions. Although, the SVP homologs might have suffered functional diversification among diverse species between core and basal eudicots, the protein functions are conserved between Arabidopsis/Petunia and Epimedium.
Project description:Purple acid phosphatases (PAPs) play an important role in plant phosphorus nutrition, both by liberating phosphorus from organic sources in the soil and by modulating distribution within the plant throughout growth and development. Furthermore, members of the PAP protein family have been implicated in a broader role in plant mineral homeostasis, stress responses and development. We have identified 33 candidate PAP encoding gene models in the maize (Zea mays ssp. mays var. B73) reference genome. The maize Pap family includes a clear single-copy ortholog of the Arabidopsis gene AtPAP26, shown previously to encode both major intracellular and secreted acid phosphatase activities. Certain groups of PAPs present in Arabidopsis, however, are absent in maize, while the maize family contains a number of expansions, including a distinct radiation not present in Arabidopsis. Analysis of RNA-sequencing based transcriptome data revealed accumulation of maize Pap transcripts in multiple plant tissues at multiple stages of development, and increased accumulation of specific transcripts under low phosphorus availability. These data suggest the maize PAP family as a whole to have broad significance throughout the plant life cycle, while highlighting potential functional specialization of individual family members.
Project description:Rafflesia, a holoparasitic genus that produces the largest flower in the world is characterized by the absence of leaves, stem and other macroscopic organs. To better understand the molecular regulation of flower development in this genus we isolated and characterized a floral MADS-box gene, namely, RcMADS1 from Rafflesia cantleyi. Heterologous expression analysis in Arabidopsis was chosen because Rafflesia is not amenable to genetic manipulations. RcMADS1 shares sequence similarity with AGAMOUS-LIKE 24 (AGL24) and SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) of Arabidopsis. Ectopic expression of RcMADS1 in Arabidopsis caused early flowering and conversion of sepals and petals into leaf-like structures, and carpels into inflorescences. In 35S::RcMADS1 plants SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (SOC1), a downstream target gene of AGL24, was upregulated. 35S::RcMADS1 plants exhibit early flowering and conversion of the floral meristem into inflorescence meristem, as in 35S::AGL24 plants. Similar to AGL24, RcMADS1 could rescue the late flowering phenotypes of agl24-1 and FRIGIDA, but not the early flowering of svp-41. Based on these results, we propose that RcMADS1 is a functional ortholog of Arabidopsis AGL24.