Recent Topics Posters
Ballerini, Evangeline S. , Kramer, Elena M .
Environmental and genetic control of flowering time in the basal eudicot Aquilegia formosa.
A key event in the life history of flowering plants is the transition from vegetative growth to reproductive growth, which defines flowering time. To achieve maximum reproductive success, flowering time should coincide with the presence of the appropriate pollinators, should concur with the flowering time of other individuals to increase outcrossing prospects, and should occur in a seasonal environment that enhances germination and seedling viability. Many plants control this transition based on input from environmental conditions, particularly seasonal cues such as photoperiod and temperature. While extensive genetic research on flowering time has been carried out in the model systems of Arabidopsis and rice (Oryza sativa), two species that are separated by more than 115 million years of independent evolution, there remains a need to study the molecular basis of flowering time in other phylogenetic lineages. Due to its phylogenetic position, unique ecology, and recently developed genomic tools, the basal eudicot Aquilegia formosa is an excellent species in which to examine how genetic pathways controlling flowering time have evolved in response to various environmental cues.
Previous studies in Arabidopsis and rice have revealed conservation in the genetic pathway controlling flowering time response to photoperiod. Participants in this pathway, including the Arabidopsis genes GIGANTEA (GI), CONSTANS (CO), and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and their rice homologs integrate inputs from the circadian clock and the photoreceptors to initiate flowering in response to either long days (Arabidopsis) or short days (rice). Primary differences in the photoperiod pathway between Arabidopsis and rice appear to involve how CONSTANS and its rice homolog Heading date 1 are pre- and posttranscriptionally regulated in response to day length. Here, with CO expression analyses in Aquilegia, we begin to examine both how CO functions in a putatively day-neutral plant and how the role of CO has evolved across the angiosperms.
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1 - Harvard University, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, 16 Divinity Ave., Rm. 1112, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA
2 - Harvard Univerisity, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, 16 Divinity Ave, Biolabs 1109, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138, USA
Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM