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Regulation of flowering time via miR172-mediated APETALA2-like expression in ornamental gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa)

Li, Xiao-yan, Guo, Fu, Ma, Sheng-yun, Zhu, Mu-yuan, Pan, Wei-huai, Bian, Hong-wu
Journal of Zhejiang University 2019 v.20 no.4 pp. 322-331
Gloxinia, Sinningia speciosa, complementary DNA, flowering date, gene overexpression, messenger RNA, microRNA, ornamental plants, polymerase chain reaction, tissues, transgenic plants
We investigated the microRNA172 (miR172)-mediated regulatory network for the perception of changes in external and endogenous signals to identify a universally applicable floral regulation system in ornamental plants, manipulation of which could be economically beneficial. Transgenic gloxinia plants, in which miR172 was either overexpressed or suppressed, were generated using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. They were used to study the effect of altering the expression of this miRNA on time of flowering and to identify its mRNA target. Early or late flowering was observed in transgenic plants in which miR172 was overexpressed or suppressed, respectively. A full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) of gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) APETALA2-like (SsAP2-like) was identified as a target of miR172. The altered expression levels of miR172 caused up- or down-regulation of SsAP2-like during flower development, which affected the time of flowering. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR analysis of different gloxinia tissues revealed that the accumulation of SsAP2-like was negatively correlated with the expression of miR172a, whereas the expression pattern of miR172a was negatively correlated with that of miR156a. Our results suggest that transgenic manipulation of miR172 could be used as a universal strategy for regulating time of flowering in ornamental plants.