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Crop Biotech Update

The Role of Short Vegetative Phase-Orthologs in Herbaceous Perennial Gentian

May 11, 2016

Information on regulation of vegetative phase and floral initiation in herbaceous perennial plants has been limited to a few species. To study flowering regulation in a wider range of plant species, Noriko Yamagishi and Kohei Kume of Iwate University in Japan identified and characterized SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP)-like genes, GtSVP-L1 and GtSVP-L2, from the herbaceous perennial plant, gentian (Gentiana triflora).

Silencing the GtSVP-L1 in G. triflora seedlings resulted in early flowering and shortened vegetative phase by about one-third the period of time, without vernalization. This suggests GtSVP-L1 negatively regulates flowering and vegetative phase.

Seasonal change in GtSVP expression was also monitored in overwinter buds (OWBs) of gentian. Analysis revealed that the levels of GtSVP-L1 mRNA in OWBs increased together with the induction and/or maintenance of dormancy, then decreased toward release from dormancy, while GtSVP-L2 mRNA levels remained unchanged.

These results imply that in herbaceous perennial plants, the SVP-ortholog is concerned in activity-dormancy control, as well as in negative regulation of flowering.

For more on the study, read the article in Plant Science.