SPP 1530: Flowering Time Control - from Natural Variation to Crop Improvement

PP-24: Quint, Große, Weisshaar

Evolutionary transcriptomics of floral transition

This interdisciplinary project takes an evolutionary transcriptomics approach on the transition from the vegetative to the reproductive phase in flowering plants. In collaboration with four partners within SPP 1530, we will generate high-resolution time series of transcriptomes based on next generation sequencing of RNA populations before, during, and after floral transition in Arabidopsis thaliana, Capsella rubella, Brassica napus, Beta vulgaris, Vitis vinifera, and Hordeum vulgare. Based on these data, we aim (i) at identifying novel potential regulators of floral transition by comparative transcriptomics and (ii) at uncovering the possible presence of an evolutionarily conserved phylotranscriptomic pattern of floral transition. By the comparative transcriptomics approach we will construct gene regulatory networks (i) to understand the known floral transition network on an evolutionary level and (ii) to identify novel potential regulators of floral transition, which we will functionally evaluate by reverse genetics. By the phylotranscriptomics approach, which combines phylogenetic and whole-transcriptome information, we will assess whether specific ontogenetic stages before, during, or after floral transition are evolutionarily conserved or, alternatively, evolutionarily variable; the latter pointing to adaptational potential. The combination of both approaches will allow us to view developmental phase change from an evolutionary perspective. Furthermore, we will develop a graphical web-based user interface to make phylotranscriptomics available and applicable to all members of the SPP 1530 and other research groups worldwide.

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