A soybean quantitative trait locus that promotes flowering under long days is identified as FT5a, a FLOWERING LOCUS T ortholog.
ABSTRACT: FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) is an important floral integrator whose functions are conserved across plant species. In soybean, two orthologs, FT2a and FT5a, play a major role in initiating flowering. Their expression in response to different photoperiods is controlled by allelic combinations at the maturity loci E1 to E4, generating variation in flowering time among cultivars. We determined the molecular basis of a quantitative trait locus (QTL) for flowering time in linkage group J (Chromosome 16). Fine-mapping delimited the QTL to a genomic region of 107kb that harbors FT5a We detected 15 DNA polymorphisms between parents with the early-flowering (ef) and late-flowering (lf) alleles in the promoter region, an intron, and the 3' untranslated region of FT5a, although the FT5a coding regions were identical. Transcript abundance of FT5a was higher in near-isogenic lines for ef than in those for lf, suggesting that different transcriptional activities or mRNA stability caused the flowering time difference. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) calling from re-sequencing data for 439 cultivated and wild soybean accessions indicated that ef is a rare haplotype that is distinct from common haplotypes including lf The ef allele at FT5a may play an adaptive role at latitudes where early flowering is desirable.
Project description:The timing of both flowering and maturation determine crop adaptability and productivity. Soybean (Glycine max) is cultivated across a wide range of latitudes. The molecular-genetic mechanisms for flowering in soybean have been determined for photoperiodic responses to long days (LDs), but remain only partially determined for the delay of flowering under short-day conditions, an adaptive trait of cultivars grown in lower latitudes. Here, we characterized the late-flowering (LF) habit introduced from the Thai cultivar K3 into a photoperiod-insensitive genetic background under different photo-thermal conditions, and we analyzed the genetic basis using quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping. The LF habit resulted from a basic difference in the floral induction activity and from the suppression of flowering, which was caused by red light-enriched LD lengths and higher temperatures, during which FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) orthologs, FT2a and FT5a, were strongly down-regulated. QTL mapping using gene-specific markers for flowering genes E2, FT2a and FT5a and 829 single nucleotide polymorphisms obtained from restriction-site associated DNA sequencing detected three QTLs controlling the LF habit. Of these, a QTL harboring FT2a exhibited large and stable effects under all the conditions tested. A resequencing analysis detected a nonsynonymous substitution in exon 4 of FT2a from K3, which converted the glycine conserved in FT-like proteins to the aspartic acid conserved in TERMINAL FLOWER 1-like proteins (floral repressors), suggesting a functional depression in the FT2a protein from K3. The effects of the remaining two QTLs, likely corresponding to E2 and FT5a, were environment dependent. Thus, the LF habit from K3 may be caused by the functional depression of FT2a and the down-regulation of two FT genes by red light-enriched LD conditions and high temperatures.
Project description:Genes in the FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) family integrate external and internal signals to control various aspects of plant development. In soybean (Glycine max), FT2a and FT5a play a major role in floral induction, but their roles in post-flowering reproductive development remain undetermined. Ectopic overexpression analyses revealed that FT2a and FT5a similarly induced flowering, but FT5a was markedly more effective than FT2a for the post-flowering termination of stem growth. The down-regulation of Dt1, a soybean orthologue of Arabidopsis TERMINAL FLOWER1, in shoot apices in early growing stages of FT5a-overexpressing plants was concomitant with highly up-regulated expression of APETALA1 orthologues. The Dt2 gene, a repressor of Dt1, was up-regulated similarly by the overexpression of FT2a and FT5a, suggesting that it was not involved in the control of stem termination by FT5a. In addition to the previously reported interaction with FDL19, a homologue of the Arabidopsis bZIP protein FD, both FT2a and FT5a interacted with FDL12, but only FT5a interacted with FDL06. Our results suggest that FT2a and FT5a have different functions in the control of post-flowering stem growth. A specific interaction of FT5a with FDL06 may play a key role in determining post-flowering stem growth in soybean.
Project description:Photoperiod response of flowering determines plant adaptation to different latitudes. Soybean, a short-day plant, has gained the ability to flower under long-day conditions during the growing season at higher latitudes, mainly through dysfunction of phytochrome A genes (E3 and E4) and the floral repressor E1. In this study, we identified a novel molecular genetic basis of photoperiod insensitivity in Far-Eastern Russian soybean cultivars. By testcrossing these cultivars with a Canadian cultivar Harosoy near-isogenic line for a recessive e3 allele, followed by association tests and fine mapping, we determined that the insensitivity was inherited as a single recessive gene located in an 842-kb interval in the pericentromeric region of chromosome 4, where E1-Like b (E1Lb), a homoeolog of E1, is located. Sequencing analysis detected a single-nucleotide deletion in the coding sequence of the gene in insensitive cultivars, which generated a premature stop codon. Near-isogenic lines (NILs) for the loss-of-function allele (designated e1lb) exhibited upregulated expression of soybean FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) orthologs, FT2a and FT5a, and flowered earlier than those for E1Lb under long-day conditions in both the e3/E4 and E3/E4 genetic backgrounds. These NILs further lacked the inhibitory effect on flowering by far-red light-enriched long-day conditions, which is mediated by E4, but not that of red-light-enriched long-day conditions, which is mediated by E3. These findings suggest that E1Lb retards flowering under long-day conditions by repressing the expression of FT2a and FT5a independently of E1. This loss-of-function allele can be used as a new resource in breeding of photoperiod-insensitive cultivars, and may improve our understanding of the function of the E1 family genes in the photoperiod responses of flowering in soybean.
Project description:Ambient growing temperature and photoperiod are major environmental stimuli that summer annual crops use to adjust their reproductive phenology so as to maximize yield. Variation in flowering time among soybean (Glycine max) cultivars results mainly from allelic diversity at loci that control photoperiod sensitivity and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) orthologs. However, variation in the thermal regulation of flowering and its underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, we identified a novel mutant (ef1) that confers altered thermal regulation of flowering in response to cool ambient temperatures. Mapping analysis with simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers located the mutation in the upper part of chromosome 19, where no QTL for flowering has been previously reported. Fine-mapping and re-sequencing revealed that the mutation was caused by deletion of a 214 kbp genomic region that contains 11 annotated genes, including CONSTANS-LIKE 2b (COL2b), a soybean ortholog of Arabidopsis CONSTANS. Comparison of flowering times under different photo-thermal conditions revealed that early flowering in the mutant lines was most distinct under cool ambient temperatures. The expression of two FT orthologs, FT2a and FT5a, was dramatically downregulated by cool temperature, but the magnitude of the downregulation was lower in the mutant lines. Cool temperatures upregulated COL2b expression or delayed peak expression, particularly at the fourth trifoliate-leaf stage. Intriguingly, they also upregulated E1, a soybean-specific repressor of FT orthologs. Our results suggest that the ef1 mutation is involved in thermal regulation of flowering in response to cool ambient temperature, and the lack of COL2b in the mutant likely alleviates the repression of flowering by cool temperature. The ef1 mutant can be used as a novel gene resource in breeding soybean cultivars adapted to cool climate and in research to improve our understanding of thermal regulation of flowering in soybean.
Project description:Understanding the molecular mechanisms of flowering and maturity is important for improving the adaptability and yield of seed crops in different environments. In soybean, a facultative short-day plant, genetic variation at four maturity genes, E1 to E4, plays an important role in adaptation to environments with different photoperiods. However, the molecular basis of natural variation in time to flowering and maturity is poorly understood. Using a cross between early-maturing soybean cultivars, we performed a genetic and molecular study of flowering genes. The progeny of this cross segregated for two maturity loci, E1 and E9. The latter locus was subjected to detailed molecular analysis to identify the responsible gene.Fine mapping, sequencing, and expression analysis revealed that E9 is FT2a, an ortholog of Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS T. Regardless of daylength conditions, the e9 allele was transcribed at a very low level in comparison with the E9 allele and delayed flowering. Despite identical coding sequences, a number of single nucleotide polymorphisms and insertions/deletions were detected in the promoter, untranslated regions, and introns between the two cultivars. Furthermore, the e9 allele had a Ty1/copia-like retrotransposon, SORE-1, inserted in the first intron. Comparison of the expression levels of different alleles among near-isogenic lines and photoperiod-insensitive cultivars indicated that the SORE-1 insertion attenuated FT2a expression by its allele-specific transcriptional repression. SORE-1 was highly methylated, and did not appear to disrupt FT2a RNA processing.The soybean maturity gene E9 is FT2a, and its recessive allele delays flowering because of lower transcript abundance that is caused by allele-specific transcriptional repression due to the insertion of SORE-1. The FT2a transcript abundance is thus directly associated with the variation in flowering time in soybean. The e9 allele may maintain vegetative growth in early-flowering genetic backgrounds, and also be useful as a long-juvenile allele, which causes late flowering under short-daylength conditions, in low-latitude regions.
Project description:Flowering time is a key agronomic trait that directly influences the successful adaptation of soybean (Glycine max) to diverse latitudes and farming systems. GmFT2a and GmFT5a have been extensively identified as flowering activators and integrators in soybean. Here, we identified two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) regions harbouring GmFT2a and GmFT5a, respectively, associated with different genetic effects on flowering under different photoperiods. We analysed the flowering time of transgenic plants overexpressing GmFT2a or GmFT5a, ft2a mutants, ft5a mutants and ft2aft5a double mutants under long-day (LD) and short-day (SD) conditions. We confirmed that GmFT2a and GmFT5a are not redundant, they collectively regulate flowering time, and the effect of GmFT2a is more prominent than that of GmFT5a under SD conditions whereas GmFT5a has more significant effects than GmFT2a under LD conditions. GmFT5a, not GmFT2a, was essential for soybean to adapt to high latitude regions. The ft2aft5a double mutants showed late flowering by about 31.3 days under SD conditions and produced significantly increased numbers of pods and seeds per plant compared to the wild type. We speculate that these mutants may have enormous yield potential for the tropics. In addition, we examined the sequences of these two loci in 202 soybean accessions and investigated the flowering phenotypes, geographical distributions and maturity groups within major haplotypes. These results will contribute to soybean breeding and regional adaptability.
Project description:Soybean is an important crop that is grown worldwide. Flowering time is a critical agricultural trait determining successful reproduction and yields. For plants, light and temperature are important environmental factors that regulate flowering time. Soybean is a typical short-day (SD) plant, and many studies have elucidated the fine-scale mechanisms of how soybean responds to photoperiod. Low temperature can delay the flowering time of soybean, but little is known about the detailed mechanism of how temperature affects soybean flowering. In this study, we isolated GmFLC-like from soybean, which belongs to the FLOWERING LOCUS C clade of the MADS-box family and is intensely expressed in soybean leaves. Heterologous expression of GmFLC-like results in a delayed-flowering phenotype in Arabidopsis. Additional experiments revealed that GmFLC-like is involved in long-term low temperature-triggered late flowering by inhibiting FT gene expression. In addition, yeast one-hybrid, dual-luciferase reporter assay, and electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that the GmFLC-like protein could directly repress the expression of FT2a by physically interacting with its promoter region. Taken together, our results revealed that GmFLC-like functions as a floral repressor involved in flowering time during treatments with various low temperature durations. As the only the FLC gene in soybean, GmFLC-like was meaningfully retained in the soybean genome over the course of evolution, and this gene may play an important role in delaying flowering time and providing protective mechanisms against sporadic and extremely low temperatures.
Project description:Soybean (Glycine max L.) is a major legume crop that is mainly distributed in temperate regions. The adaptability of soybean to grow at relatively high latitudes is attributed to natural variations in major genes and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that control flowering time and maturity. Identification of new QTLs and map-based cloning of candidate genes are the fundamental approaches in elucidating the mechanism underlying soybean flowering and adaptation. To identify novel QTLs/genes, we developed two F8:10 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and evaluated the traits of time to flowering (R1), maturity (R8), and reproductive period (RP) in the field. To rapidly and efficiently identify QTLs that control these traits, next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based QTL analysis was performed. This study demonstrates that only one major QTL on chromosome 4 simultaneously controls R1, R8, and RP traits in the Dongnong 50 × Williams 82 (DW) RIL population. Furthermore, three QTLs were mapped to chromosomes 6, 11, and 16 in the Suinong 14 × Enrei (SE) RIL population. Two major pleiotropic QTLs on chromosomes 4 and 6 were shown to affect flowering time, maturity, and RP. A QTL influencing RP was identified on chromosome 11, and QTL on chromosome 16 was associated with time to flowering responses. All these QTLs contributed to soybean maturation. The QTLs identified in this study may be utilized in fine mapping and map-based cloning of candidate genes to elucidate the mechanisms underlying flowering and soybean adaptation to different latitudes and to breed novel soybean cultivars with optimal yield-related traits.
Project description:Flowering is one of the most important processes involved in crop adaptation and productivity. A number of major genes and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for flowering have been reported in soybean (Glycine max). These genes and QTLs interact with one another and with the environment to greatly influence not only flowering and maturity but also plant morphology, final yield, and stress tolerance. The information available on the soybean genome sequence and on the molecular bases of flowering in Arabidopsis will undoubtedly facilitate the molecular dissection of flowering in soybean. Here, we review the present status of our understanding of the genetic and molecular mechanisms of flowering in soybean. We also discuss our identification of orthologs of Arabidopsis flowering genes from among the 46,367 genes annotated in the publicly available soybean genome database Phytozome Glyma 1.0. We emphasize the usefulness of a combined approach including QTL analysis, fine mapping, and use of candidate gene information from model plant species in genetic and molecular studies of soybean flowering.
Project description:Whole-genome re-sequencing is a powerful approach to detect gene variants, but it is expensive to analyse only the target genes. To circumvent this problem, we attempted to detect novel variants of flowering time-related genes and their homologues in soybean mini-core collection by target re-sequencing using AmpliSeq technology. The average depth of 382 amplicons targeting 29 genes was 1,237 with 99.85% of the sequence data mapped to the reference genome. Totally, 461 variants were detected, of which 150 sites were novel and not registered in dbSNP. Known and novel variants were detected in the classical maturity loci-E1, E2, E3, and E4. Additionally, large indel alleles, E1-nl and E3-tr, were successfully identified. Novel loss-of-function and missense variants were found in FT2a, MADS-box, WDR61, phytochromes, and two-component response regulators. The multiple regression analysis showed that four genes-E2, E3, Dt1, and two-component response regulator-can explain 51.1-52.3% of the variation in flowering time of the mini-core collection. Among them, the two-component response regulator with a premature stop codon is a novel gene that has not been reported as a soybean flowering time-related gene. These data suggest that the AmpliSeq technology is a powerful tool to identify novel alleles.