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Crop Biotech Update

SDG8 Genes Involved in Floral Transition in Rapeseed

May 30, 2018

While experimental evidence demonstrates that histone methylations play roles in plant growth and development of Arabidopsis, not much is known regarding their function in rapeseed (Brassica napus). The team of Ling Jiang from Hunan Agricultural University in China characterized two genes encoding homologs of the Arabidopsis histone 3 lysine 36 (H3K36) methyltransferase SDG8, namely, BnaSDG8.A and BnaSDG8.C.

To investigate their function, BnaSDG8.A and C were expressed individually in an SDG8-deficient, early-flowering, Arabidopsis mutant. Expression of either of the two genes was found capable of rescuing the mutant line. Using RNAi and CRISPR-Cas9, the team then developed BnaSDG8.A and C knockdown and knockout mutants, respectively, to further prove their functions.

The developed lines both exhibited early flowering phenotype compared to the control plants. Further analysis of the mutants revealed that BnaSDG8.A and C prevent the floral transition of rapeseed by repressing the flowering gene, BnaFLC.

These results on the floral transition in rapeseed could provide useful information for the development of breeding early‐flowering varieties.

For more information, read the article in The Plant Journal.