The identification of almond GIGANTEA gene and its expression under cold stress, variable photoperiod, and seasonal dormancy

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Abstract

Seasonal growth is characteristic for many tree species including almond. Varying conditions during the season are responsible for growth cessation, bud set, dormancy entry, cold hardening, and bud burst. Here, we report the characterization of an almond homologue of the Arabidopsis GIGANTEA (AtGI) gene (designated as PdGI, GenBank accession No. KJ502316). We propose a role for this gene in the transition to dormancy and cold acclimation. The complementary DNA (cDNA) sequence of PdGI was 4 322 bp long and contained an open reading frame of 3 512 bp. The deduced amino acid sequence of PdGI shared 76 % identity with AtGI. The expression of PdGI at ambient day/night temperatures of 22/20 ºC was differentially regulated under a 16-h or 12-h photoperiod, increasing during the day and decreasing after dusk. However, this diurnal regulation was disrupted when plants were transferred to cold (12 ºC) conditions. In addition, we have assessed the expression of PdGI and putative almond homologues of the downstream target genes CONSTANS (PdCO-like) and FLOWERING LOCUS T (PdFT-like) in flower buds and shoots from adult trees during the bud break period in autumn and early winter. Our results show a clear increase in transcript abundance towards anthesis, suggesting a role of these genes in flower development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-640
Number of pages10
JournalBiologia Plantarum
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • bud break
  • flowering
  • Prunus dulcis
  • seasonal development

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