Molecular characterization of the vernalization response in Lolium Perenne
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Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 22 mei 2007
Promotor : Angenent, G.C. Co-promotor : Immink, R.G.H.
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Molecular Plant Physiology
Faculty of Science, Mathematics &Computing Science
Plant Cell Biology
SubjectMolecular Plant Physiology
Control of flowering time in a wide variety of plant species is one of the most important developmental switches during plant development and depends on various environmental factors. In the past, the isolations of many flowering mutants in the model system Arabidopsis thaliana contributed to a better understanding of the regulation of flowering time. In this species four main promoting pathways were identified and among those, the vernalization pathway allows an acceleration of flowering induction in climatic areas with long periods of cold. The main objective of this thesis was to study and identify the genes involved in vernalization requirement in Lolium perenne, and compare the genetic control of prolonged cold exposure in Arabidopsis and this cereal species. Chapter 1 describes the process of promotion of flowering induced by the vernalization pathway in Arabidopsis and winter cereals. The current view on the molecular function of genes controlling the vernalization response in Arabidopsis and in winter cereals is presented. In Chapter 2 a comprehensive expression analysis of 1500 unique cDNA clones from Lolium perenne is described, in order to identify genes up- or down-regulated during the vernalization response.Chapter 3 reports the regulation of flowering time in vernalization- sensitive andinsensitive Lolium perenne accessions. In Chapter 5 a differential subtractive approach aiming at the isolation of a sub-set of genes that are responsive to vernalization in perennial ryegrass was followed. One of the identified genes, named LpLIR1 was initially a good candidate for a vernalization-related gene. Chapter 6 introduces the results obtained by the characterization of two MADS box genes involved in the regulation of flowering time in Arabidopsis by a new approach. In Chapter 7 a final discussion is presented in which once more the genetic control of vernalization in Arabidopsis and cereal species is compared.
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