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

PP-10: Schmid

Regulation of flowering time by Trehalose-6-Phosphate signaling

The induction of flowering is a central event in the life cycle of plants. When timed correctly, it helps ensure reproductive success, and therefore has adaptive value. Because of its importance, flowering is under the control of a complex genetic circuitry that integrates environmental and endogenous signals. One plant-derived signal is trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P), a disaccharide that is broadly found in plants. Interestingly, plants deficient in the key T6P-synthesizing enzyme TREHALOSE-6-PHOSPHATE SYSNTHASE1 (TPS1) are late flowering. We propose to investigate the mechanisms by which T6P regulates flowering and identify the genes involved in this process. We have already identified the miR156/SPL node as a potential point of integration of T6P into the more canonical flowering time pathways in Arabidopsis. We will study the details of miR156/SPL in T6P signalling using molecular and genetic analyses. To complement this candidate approach, we have identified suppressor mutants that trigger the induction of flowering in the T6P deficient tps1-2 mutant. We will map the causal mutations by 2nd generation sequencing and will characterize the function of the affected genes in T6P signalling. Finally, as basically nothing is know about the role of trehalose in the control of flowering in monocotyledonous plants, we will initiate an analysis of TPS1 and T6P function in barley.


Project-related publications:

Lutz U,Posé D, Pfeifer M, Gundlach H, Hagmann J, Wang C, Weigel D, Mayer KFX, Schmid M, Schwechheimer C (2015). Modulation of Ambient Temperature-Dependent Flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana by Natural Variation of FLOWERING LOCUS M. PLoS Genet 11(10):e1005588. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005588

Wahl V , Ponnu J, Schlereth A, Arrivault S, Langenecker T, Franke A, Feil R, Lunn JE, Stitt M, Schmid M (2013). Regulation of Flowering by Trehalose-6-Phosphate Signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana. Science 339: 704-707, doi: 10.1126/science.1230406

Pose D, Verhage L, Ott, F, Yant L, Mathieu J, Angenent GC, Immink RG, Schmid M (2013). Temperature-dependent regulation of flowering by antagonistic FLM variants. Nature 503 (7476): 414-7, doi: 10.1038/nature12633

Lee JH, Ryu HS, Chung KS,  Pose D, Kim S, Schmid M, Ahn JH (2013). Regulation of temperature-responsive flowering by MADS-box transcription factor repressors. Science 342 (6158):628-32, doi: 10.1126/science.1241097

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