Journal Article

Increased <i>CiFT</i> abundance in the stem correlates with floral induction by low temperature in Satsuma mandarin (<i>Citrus unshiu</i> Marc.)

Fumie Nishikawa, Tomoko Endo, Takehiko Shimada, Hiroshi Fujii, Tokurou Shimizu, Mitsuo Omura and Yoshinori Ikoma

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 58, issue 14, pages 3915-3927
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erm246
Increased CiFT abundance in the stem correlates with floral induction by low temperature in Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.)

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After several years in the juvenile phase, adult citrus trees show seasonal periodicity of flowering. A prolonged exposure to low temperature is one of the most important environmental cues for floral induction in citrus. In the present study, the expression of flowering-related genes during the annual cycle of flowering and inductive low-temperature treatment in Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.) trees is investigated. Simultaneously, floral induction, which occurs before the period of morphological flower development, was estimated as the number of flowers after the forcing of sprouting by defoliation at 25 °C. The expression of citrus FLOWERING LOCUS T homologues, CiFT, showed a seasonal increase during the floral induction period and was also induced by an artificial low-temperature treatment (15 °C) at which floral induction occurred. By contrast, the mRNA level of CiFT did not show any distinct changes following a warm-temperature treatment (25 °C) for 2.5 months, during which time floral induction was completely suppressed. Changes in the expression of the citrus homologues of TERMINAL FLOWER 1, LEAFY, and APETALA1 did not show any correlation with floral induction in the field or under artificial low-temperature conditions. In juvenile seedlings of Satsuma mandarin, which does not flower even under inductive low-temperature conditions, the mRNA levels of CiFT were not affected by the low-temperature treatment, unlike adult tissues. These results suggest that low temperature promotes floral induction via the activation of CiFT transcription in adult Satsuma mandarin trees and that, in the juvenile plant, CiFT transcription does not respond to low temperature.

Keywords: Citrus; flowering; FT; low temperature; Satsuma mandarin

Journal Article.  6368 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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