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Crop Biotech Update

Promoter Difference of LcFT1 is the Cause of Natural Variation of Flowering in Litchi

November 4, 2015

Litchi (Litchi chinensis) is an important fruit with high commercial value. However, unstable flowering is a major problem for producers. Aviad Freiman of the Agricultural Research Organization in Israel, together with colleagues, studied litchi flowering to better understand its mechanisms.

The team identified two FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) homologue genes named LcFT1 and LcFT2. The team found that low temperature could only induce LcFT1 expression in leaves, but not LcFT2 expression. Expression of LcFT1 in tobacco and Arabidopsis induced flowering, indicating the role of LcFT1 in litchi floral induction by low temperature.

The team also found two types of LcFT1 promoters in different litchi cultivars, promoters for early-flowering cultivars and those for the late-flowering cultivars. The promoters in early-flowering cultivars were found more sensitive to low temperature.

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