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

PP-18: Weigel

Comparative analysis of miRNA networks regulating flowering


In the past 15 years we have learned a great deal about the genetic and molecular basis of flowering time control, particularly in two species, the dicot Arabidopsis thaliana and the monocot rice.

Transferring this knowledge to other crops and trees has, however, not always been straight-forward, because of two main reasons: First, we have an insufficient unders tanding of conservation and divergence of flowering time networks within and between species.

Second, the pleiotropic effects of flowering time regulators are only poorly understood. Here, we propose a comparative analysis in the Brassicaceae, which include both the model plant A. thaliana and Brassica crops, to investigate two microRNA (miRNA) modules controlling flowering as well as other aspects of plant development and physiology: miR156 and its SPL transcription factor targets, and miR172 and its AP2-related targets.

Our integrated program incorporates (i) sequence-driven approaches that exploit the availability of a rapidly increasing number of genome sequences in the Brassicaceae, coupled with ultra-high throughput sequencing of small RNA populations; (ii) comparative phenotypic analyses in several species; and (iii) genetic screens that make use of the incredible ease with which novel mutations can be mapped and molecularly identified due to recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies.

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

Köster T, Meyer K, Weinholdt C, Smith LM, Lummer M, Speth C, Grosse I, Weigel D, Staiger D (2014). Regulation of pri-miRNA processing by the hnRNP-like protein AtGRP7 in Arabidopsis. Nucl. Acids Res., doi: 10.1093/nar/gku716

Ho WW, Weigel D (2014). Structural features determining flower-promoting activity of Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS T. The Plant Cell 26 (2): 552-64

Rosloski SM, Singh A, Jali SS, Balasubramanian S, Weigel D, Grbic V (2013). Functional analysis of splice variant expression of MADS AFFECTING FLOWERING 2 of Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Molecular Biology 81 (1-2): 57-69

James GV, Patel V, Nordstrom KJ, Klasen JR, Salome PA, Weigel D, Schneeberger K (2013). User guide for mapping-by-sequencing in Arabidopsis. Genome Biology 14(6):R61

Todesco M, Balasubramanian S, Cao J, Ott, F, Sureshkumar S, Schneeberger K, Meyer RC, Altmann T, Weigel D (2012). Natural variation in biogenesis efficiency of individual Arabidopsis thaliana microRNAs. Current Biology 22(2):166-70

Guo YL, Todesco M, Hagmann J, Das S, Weigel D (2012). Independent FLC mutations as causes of flowering-time variation in Arabidopsis thaliana and Capsella rubella. Genetics 192 (2): 729-39

Galvao VC, Nordstrom KJ, Lanz C, Sulz P, Mathieu J, Pose D, Schmid, M, Weigel D, Schneeberger K (2012). Synteny-based mapping-by-sequencing enabled by targeted enrichment. The Plant Journal 71(3):517-26

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