The evolution of the FT/TFL1 genes in Amaranthaceae and their expression patterns in the course of vegetative growth and flowering in Chenopodium rubrum

Drabešová J., Černá L., Mašterová H., Koloušková P., Potocký M., Štorchová H.
G3: GENES, GENOMES, GENETICS 6: 3065-3076, 2016

Keywords: transcriptome, FLOWERING LOCUS T/TERMINAL FLOWER1 gene family, evolution, flowering, gene rearrangement, Amaranthaceae, Chenopodium rubrum
Abstract: The FT/TFL1 gene family controls important aspects of plant development: MFT -like genes affect germination, TFL1 -like genes act as floral inhibitors, FT -like genes are floral activators. Gene duplications produced paralogs with modified functions required by the specific lifestyles of various angiosperm species.We constructed the transcriptome of the weedy annual plant Chenopodium rubrum and used it for the comprehensive search for the FT/TFL1 genes. We analyzed their phylogenetic relationships across Amaranthaceae and all angiosperms. We discovered a very ancient phylogenetic clade of FT genes represented by the CrFTL3 gene of C. rubrum. Another paralog CrFTL2 showed an unusual structural rearrangement which might have contributed to the functional shift. We examined the transcription patterns of the FT/TFL1 genes during the vegetative growth and floral transition in C. rubrum to get cues about their possible functions. All the genes except for the constitutively expressed CrFTL2 gene, and the CrFTL3 gene, which was transcribed only in seeds, exhibited organ-specific expression influenced by the specific light regime. The CrFTL1 gene was confirmed as a single floral activator from the FT/TFL1 family in C. rubrum. Its floral promoting activity may be counteracted by CrTFL1. C. rubrum emerges as an easily manipulated model for the study of floral induction in weedy fast-cycling plants lacking a juvenile phase.
IEB authors: Lucie Černá, Pavla Koloušková, Helena Mašterová, Martin Potocký, Helena Štorchová, Jana Walterová