J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2016, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (6): 540-548.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12383

• Molecular Ecology and Evolution • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Nonfunctional alleles of long-day suppressor genes independently regulate flowering time

Xiao-Ming Zheng1†, Li Feng2†, Junrui Wang1, Weihua Qiao1, Lifang Zhang1, Yunlian Cheng1 and Qingwen Yang1*   

  1. 1National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Institute of Crop Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
    2College of Life Sciences, Hubei University, Wuhan, China
  • Received:2015-04-23 Accepted:2015-07-21 Published:2015-07-29
  • About author:These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence: E-mail: yangqingwen@caas.cn

Abstract:

Due to the remarkable adaptability to various environments, rice varieties with diverse flowering times have been domesticated or improved from Oryza rufipogon. Detailed knowledge of the genetic factors controlling flowering time will facilitate understanding the adaptation mechanism in cultivated rice and enable breeders to design appropriate genotypes for distinct preferences. In this study, four genes (Hd1, DTH8, Ghd7 and OsPRR37) in a rice long-day suppression pathway were collected and sequenced in 154, 74, 69 and 62 varieties of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa) respectively. Under long-day conditions, varieties with nonfunctional alleles flowered significantly earlier than those with functional alleles. However, the four genes have different genetic effects in the regulation of flowering time: Hd1 and OsPRR37 are major genes that generally regulate rice flowering time for all varieties, while DTH8 and Ghd7 only regulate regional rice varieties. Geographic analysis and network studies suggested that the nonfunctional alleles of these suppression loci with regional adaptability were derived recently and independently. Alleles with regional adaptability should be taken into consideration for genetic improvement. The rich genetic variations in these four genes, which adapt rice to different environments, provide the flexibility needed for breeding rice varieties with diverse flowering times.

Key words: Domestication, flowering time, long-day suppressor genes, loss-function allele, rice

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