The genetic background of the network controlling flowering induction was clarified in long-day species A. thaliana. The experiments with short-day plants (rice, Pharbitis nil) showed both similarity in the usage of homologous genes and distinction in function of some other key genes. We work with a traditional short-day model species C. rubrum, in which we have identified an ortholog of the FT (FLOWERING LOCUS T) gene and two CONSTANS like (COL) genes, alternatively spliced. Gene expression profiles under inductive and non-inductive conditions corresponded to the situation described in other short-day plants. However, we revealed important differences suggesting specifity of the control of flowering in C. rubrum. We will continue this project by the study of additional COL genes, as well as of other, not yet discovered genes playing important roles in flowering induction. C. quinoa is an important crop in Andes region. If we understand, how its flowering is controlled, we will be able to genetically modify this stress resistant crop. We have adopted all the necessary molecular methods in our lab.
Working place: Institute of Experimental Botany CAS, Czech Republic, Praha 6