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Crop Biotech Update

Downregulation of Leaf Flavin Via RfBP Expression Results in Early Flowering in Arabidopsis

September 18, 2014

Riboflavin is the precursor of flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), cofactors for enzymes in biochemical reactions. Previously, it was shown that riboflavin, FMN, and FAD levels were decreased in leaves of transgenic Arabidopsis expressing the turtle riboflavin-binding protein or (RfBP). Hansong Dong of Nanjing Agricultural University recently studied the effect of flavin downregulation due to RfBP.

Early flowering was a constant phenotype of transgenic Arabidopsis. This early flowering was correlated with enhanced expression of flower promoting photoperiod genes in leaves. Further analysis correlated it with increased expression of the FD gene responsible for flowering time control. When RfBP was silenced, by contrast, the expressions of photoperiod genes in leaves and FD were not enhanced and flavin concentrations were elevated to the normal levels in leaves.

The results provide evidence that downregulation of leaf flavin by RfBP induces early flowering and coincident enhancements of genes that promote flowering through the photoperiod pathway.

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