Early maturity is a particularly important agronomic trait for cotton breeding in China and is determined by many morphological and phenological traits. The time of floral initiation is one of most important factors related to early maturation of cotton. The aim of this study was to identify differentially expressed (DE) genes related to floral initiation using the Arabidopsis thaliana GeneChip® system on the shoot apical meristems (SAMs) of an early-maturing cotton cultivar. Compared with SAMs at 10 days, 365 genes were differentially expressed in the SAMs at 20 days. Of these, 210 and 155 transcripts were up- and down- regulated, respectively. The results of Gene Ontology (GO) annotation indicated that most genes fell into the four largest functional groups: metabolism, transposable elements, protein binding or cofactor requirements, and protein fate. These groups constituted 18.9, 11.8, 12.8 and 6.8% of the total DE genes, respectively. Many DE genes were identified, including those encoding the transcription factors SOC1-like floral activator MADS4, B3-domain containing transcription factor, MYB2, MYB85 and GHMADS-1. Our research found that the B3-domain containing transcription factor was similar to Arabidopsis genes encoding auxin response factor 36 and VERNALIZATION 1 (VRN1) and was one of 155 down-regulated ‘Apex-unique’ transcripts. The B3-domain containing transcription factor was 1128 bp long and was named GhV1 (GenBank accession No. GU929695). The induction of the transcripts we identified in the cotton SAM after 10 days of SD revealed that the transition to reproductive development occurred at this particular time point. These results allowed for a detailed description of temporal gene expression changes in the cotton SAM as it undergoes the floral initiation process.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 14, 2015
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