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

PP-2: Coupland

Mechanistic analysis of the transition from juvenility to maturity in perennial Arabis alpina and comparison with Brassica crop species


It is proposed to study the mechanisms distinguishing regulation of flowering in perennial and annual plants. The work focuses on species within the Brassicaceae, and thereby builds on the extensive understanding of flowering regulation in the annual model species Arabidopsis thaliana. The first objective is to use Arabis alpina as a model perennial species to understand the molecular basis of the transition from juvenile to adult phase. Recently we carried out an extensive physiological analysis of the perennial flowering habit of this species, and have shown that it will not flower in response to environmental cues until it is at least 5 weeks old. Such a clearly defined juvenile phase is a common feature of perennials. Here natural genetic variation and transgenic approaches will be used to identify genetic variation in novel genes influencing the transition to maturity as well as to explore the roles of SPL transcription factors and microRNA156 in this process. The second objective is to develop Arabis montbretiana as a comparative annual system to study the evolution of perennialism in the Arabis genus. Recent phylogenies demonstrate that A. montbretiana and A. alpina are sister species, and therefore provide an exciting opportunity to identify genes that have diverged recently to confer these different life histories. Thirdly, the work in the Arabis genus will be extended to the study of Brassica species, providing the possibility to identify alleles conferring perennial characters that could be used in breeding Brassica crops.


Project-related publications:

Hu JY, Zhou Y, He F, Dong X, Liu LY, Coupland G, Turck F, de Meaux J (2014). MiR824-regulated AGAMOUS-LIKE-16 contributes to flowering-time repression in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Cell, in press

Chopra D, Wolff H, Span J, Schellmann, S, Coupland G, Albani MC, Schrader A, Huelskamp M (2014). Analysis of TTG1 function in Arabis alpina. BMC Plant Biol 14, doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-16

Turck F and Coupland G (2014). Natural variation in epigenetic gene regulation and its effects on plant developmental traits. Evolution; International Journal of organic evolution 68 (3):620-631

Bergonzi S*, Albani MC*,  Ver Loren van Themaat E, Nordstrom KJ , Wang R, Schneeberger K, Moerland PD, and  Coupland G (2013): Mechanisms of age-dependent response to winter temperature in perennial flowering of Arabis alpina. Science 340, 1094-7, doi: 10.1126/science.1234116.*These authors contributed equally to this manuscript

Elrouby N, Bonequi MV, Porri A, Coupland G (2013). Identification of Arabidopsis SUMO-interacting proteins that regulate chromatin activity and developmental transitions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110 (49): 19956-61, doi:10.1073/pnas.1319985110

Nordström KJV*, Albani MC*, James GV, Gutjahr C, Hartwig B, Turck F, Paszkowski U, Coupland G and Schneeberger K (2013). Mutation identification by direct comparison of whole-genome sequencing data from mutant and wild-type individuals using k-mers", Nature Biotechnology. doi:10.1038/nbt.2515. *These authors contributed equally to this manuscript

Sarnowska EA, Rolicka AT, Bucior E, Cwiek P, Tohge T, Fernie AR, Jikumaru Y, Kamiya Y, Franzen R, Schmelzer E, Porri A, Sacharowski S, Gratkowska DM, Zugaj DL, Taff A, Zalewska A, Archacki R, Davis SJ, Coupland G, Koncz C, Jerzmanowski A, Sarnowski TJ (2013). DELLA-Interacting SWI3C Core Subunit of Switch/Sucrose Nonfermenting Chromatin Remodeling Complex Modulates Gibberellin Responses and Hormonal Cross Talk in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol.163(1):305-17. doi: 10.1104/pp.113.223933.

Campoli C, Drosse B, Searle I, Coupland G, von Korff M (2012). Functional characterisation of HvCO1, the barley (Hordeum vulgare) flowering time ortholog of CONSTANS. Plant J 69 (5):868-80, doi:10.1111/j.1365-313X.2011.04839.x

Herrero E, Kolmos E, Bujdoso N, Yuan Y, Wang M, Berns MC, Uhlworm H, Coupland G, Saini R, Jaskolski M, Webb A, Goncalves J, Davis SJ (2012). EARLY FLOWERING4 recruitment of EARLY FLOWERING3 in the nucleus sustains the Arabidopsis circadian clock. Plant Cell 24 (2):428-43

Koskela EA, Mouhu K, Albani MC, Kurokura T, Rantanen M, Sargent DJ, Battey NH, Coupland G, Elomaa, P, Hytonen T (2012). Mutation in TERMINAL FLOWER1 reverses the photoperiodic requirement for flowering in the wild strawberry Fragaria vesca. Plant Physiology 159(3):1043-54

Albani MC, Castaings L, Wötzel S, Mateos JL, Wunder J, Wang R, Reymond M, Coupland G (2012). PEP1 of Arabis alpina is encoded by two overlapping genes that contribute to natural genetic variation in perennial flowering. PLOS Genet 8 (12): e1003130. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003130

Andrés F and Coupland G (2012). The genetic basis of flowering responses to seasonal cues. Nature Reviews Genetics 13, 627-639

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