Journal Article

Molecular Characterization of <i>FLOWERING LOCUS T</i>-Like Genes of Apple (<i>Malus</i> × <i>domestica</i> Borkh.)

Nobuhiro Kotoda, Hidehiro Hayashi, Motoko Suzuki, Megumi Igarashi, Yoshimichi Hatsuyama, Shin-ichiro Kidou, Tomohiro Igasaki, Mitsuru Nishiguchi, Kanako Yano, Tokurou Shimizu, Sae Takahashi, Hiroshi Iwanami, Shigeki Moriya and Kazuyuki Abe

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 51, issue 4, pages 561-575
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Molecular Characterization of FLOWERING LOCUS T-Like Genes of Apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.)

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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The two FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT)-like genes of apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.), MdFT1 and MdFT2, have been isolated and characterized. MdFT1 and MdFT2 were mapped, respectively, on distinct linkage groups (LGs) with partial homoeology, LG 12 and LG 4. The expression pattern of MdFT1 and MdFT2 differed in that MdFT1 was expressed mainly in apical buds of fruit-bearing shoots in the adult phase, with little expression in the juvenile tissues, whereas MdFT2 was expressed mainly in reproductive organs, including flower buds and young fruit. On the other hand, both genes had the potential to induce early flowering since transgenic Arabidopsis, which ectopically expressed MdFT1 or MdFT2, flowered earlier than wild-type plants. Furthermore, overexpression of MdFT1 conferred precocious flowering in apple, with altered expression of other endogenous genes, such as MdMADS12. These results suggest that MdFT1 could function to promote flowering by altering the expression of those genes and that, at least, other genes may play an important role as well in the regulation of flowering in apple. The long juvenile period of fruit trees prevents early cropping and efficient breeding. Our findings will be useful information to unveil the molecular mechanism of flowering and to develop methods to shorten the juvenile period in various fruit trees, including apple.

Keywords: Apple; FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT); Flowering time; Juvenility; Malus × domestica Borkh

Journal Article.  8882 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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