|Authors: ||G. Puglia, S.A. Raccuia, H. Pappalardo, C. Genovese, S. Argento, M.G. Melilli|
|Keywords: ||Cynara cardunculus var. altilis, floral induction, FLC locus, sowing date, plant density|
Cynara cardunculus var. altilis has recently gained increasing importance as a valuable energy crop also mainly for oil seed production.
The development of flowers is a key event in the life cycle of higher plants and a comprehensive understanding of this process can influence total yield in many fruit-bearing crops.
The molecular genetic control of flower development has been well studied in some model species and under controlled conditions, however, limited information is available for many crops and under field conditions. C. cardunculus is usually grown from seed and both stem formation and flower induction requires low temperatures, followed by long days.
Sowing dates as well as inter-plant competition can inhibit flower formation and have impact on flower morphology affecting seed production.
The MADS-box transcription factor gene FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) has a key role in the timing of the flowering initiation in A. thaliana acting as the main flowering repressor.
A MADS FLOWERING LOCUS C - LIKE (MFL) was isolated in Cynara cardunculus var. altilis from plant subjected to different sowing dates and plant densities conditions by RT-PCR. The diverse transcript abundance in plants subjected to different sowing dates and plant density could provide a picture on how flowering induction is regulated at transcriptional level as a response to different field conditions.
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