Journal Article

Conservation of <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i> Photoperiodic Flowering Time Genes in Onion (<i>Allium cepa</i> L.)

Andrew Taylor, Andrea Juliet Massiah and Brian Thomas

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 51, issue 10, pages 1638-1647
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Conservation of Arabidopsis thaliana Photoperiodic Flowering Time Genes in Onion (Allium cepa L.)

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


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The genetics underlying onion development are poorly understood. Here the characterization of onion homologs of Arabidopsis photoperiodic flowering pathway genes is reported with the end goal of accelerating onion breeding programs by understanding the genetic basis of adaptation to different latitudes. The expression of onion GI, FKF1 and ZTL homologs under short day (SD) and long day (LD) conditions was examined using quantitative reverse transcription–PCR (qRT–PCR). The expression of AcGI and AcFKF1 was examined in onion varieties which exhibit different daylength responses. Phylogenetic trees were constructed to confirm the identity of the homologs. AcGI and AcFKF1 showed diurnal expression patterns similar to their Arabidopsis counterparts, while AcZTL was found to be constitutively expressed. AcGI showed similar expression patterns in varieties which exhibit different daylength responses, whereas AcFKF1 showed differences. It is proposed that these differences could contribute to the different daylength responses in these varieties. Phylogenetic analyses showed that all the genes isolated are very closely related to their proposed homologs. The results presented here show that key genes controlling photoperiodic flowering in Arabidopsis are conserved in onion, and a role for these genes in the photoperiodic control of bulb initiation is predicted. This theory is supported by expression and phylogenetic data.

Keywords: Bulb initiation; Daylength response; FLAVIN-BINDING, KELCH REPEAT, F-BOX 1(FKF1); GIGANTEA (GI); Onion; Photoperiod

Journal Article.  5873 words.  Illustrated.

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

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