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Chrysanthemum requires short-day repeats for anthesis: Gradual CsFTL3 induction through a feedback loop under short-day conditions

Nakano, Yoshihiro, Takase, Tomoyuki, Takahashi, Shigekazu, Sumitomo, Katsuhiko, Higuchi, Yohei, Hisamatsu, Tamotsu
Plant science 2019 v.283 pp. 247-255
Chrysanthemum, RNA interference, flowering, gene overexpression, leaves, loci, loss-of-function mutation, meristems, transgenes
Chrysanthemums require continuous short-days (SD) for anthesis. FTL3 (FLOWERING LOCUS T-like 3), a floral promoter expressed in chrysanthemum leaf, forms a complex with its interacting partner FDL1 to induce floral meristem identity gene AFL1. We explored the FTL3 induction mechanism during SD repeats in Chrysanthemum seticuspe. CsFTL3 expression was not immediately induced by a shift from long-day (LD) to SD, but gradually increased until the capitulum development stage under repeated SDs. Overexpression of CsFTL3 transgene increased endogenous leaf CsFTL3 induction under SD but not LD. Overexpression of CsFDL1 promoted anthesis and increased CsAFL1 and CsFTL3 expression under SD. Loss-of-function of CsFDL1 by RNAi resulted in delayed anthesis and downregulation of leaf CsAFL1 and CsFTL3, indicating the necessity of CsFDL1 for CsFTL3 induction. Overexpression of an antagonistic protein of CsFTL3 or CsFDL1 inhibited leaf CsFTL3 induction. CsFTL3 expression was positively regulated during SDs by a feedback mechanism involving the CsFTL3–CsFDL1 complex. Furthermore, flowering was accomplished by feedback with high levels of CsFTL3 induction under repeated SDs.