The clock gene Gigantea 1 from Petunia hybrida coordinates vegetative growth and inflorescence architecture

Journal ar
Scientific reports
  • Volumen: 10
  • Número: 1
  • Fecha: 14 January 2020
  • ISSN: 20452322
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-57145-9
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: NLM (Medline)
The gene GIGANTEA (GI) appeared early in land plants. It is a single copy gene in most plants and is found in two to three copies in Solanaceae. We analyzed the silencing of one GI copy, Petunia hybrida GI1 (PhGI1), by hairpin RNAs in Petunia in order to gain knowledge about its range of functions. Decreased transcript levels of PhGI1 were accompanied also by a reduction of PhGI2. They were further associated with increased time period between two consecutive peaks for PhGI1 and CHANEL (PhCHL), the orthologue of the blue light receptor gene ZEITLUPE (ZTL), confirming its role in maintaining circadian rhythmicity. Silenced plants were bigger with modified internode length and increased leaf size while flowering time was not altered. We uncovered a new function for PhGI1 as silenced plants showed reduction of flower bud number and the appearance of two flower buds in the bifurcation point, were normally one flower bud and the inflorescence meristem separate. Furthermore, one of the flower buds consistently showed premature flower abortion. Flowers that developed fully were significantly smaller as a result of decreased cell size. Even so the circadian pattern of volatile emission was unchanged in the silenced lines, flowers emitted 20% less volatiles on fresh weight basis over 24 hours and showed changes in the scent profile. Our results indicate a novel role of PhGI1 in the development of reproductive organs in Petunia. PhGI1 therefore represses growth in vegetative plant parts, maintains the typical cymose inflorescence structure, and inhibits premature flower abortion.

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