The Protea hybrid ‘Carnival’ (Protea compacta × Protea neriifolia) is responsive to seasonal change, arresting growth during the winter and producing flowers in the late summer after initiating flowering during the elongation of the spring flush. The large commercially attractive flower heads, consisting of over 200 florets, develop over a period of months. To begin to better understand the molecular factors that influence the transition to flowering in Protea, a homologue of the FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) gene, ProFT, was isolated from ‘Carnival’, and its expression was analysed. ProFT showed increased expression in ‘Carnival’ leaves during October (13 h light/11 h dark; average daily temperature of 17 °C) at the time that floral organs were being pre-formed in the meristem. ProFT expression was fivefold higher in florally determined buds compared to that in leaves, and low levels were present in the vegetative meristems analysed. These results suggest that ProFT may act as a seasonally regulated floral inducer in ‘Carnival’, but based on spatial expression, data is also likely to play a role in inflorescence development and growth architecture.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Plant Molecular Biology Reporter|
|Early online date||13 Sept 2013|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2014|