Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How flowering time of plants can be controlled

Date:
December 8, 2010
Source:
Expertanswer
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a previously unknown gene in sugar beets that blocks flowering. Only with the cold of winter is the gene shut off, allowing the sugar beet to blossom in its second year. The discovery of this new gene function makes it possible to control when sugar beets bloom.

Researchers have discovered a previously unknown gene in sugar beets that blocks flowering. Only with the cold of winter is the gene shut off, allowing the sugar beet to blossom in its second year. The discovery of this new gene function makes it possible to control when sugar beets bloom.
Credit: iStockphoto/Dusko Matic

Researchers at Umeε Plant Science Center in Sweden discovered, in collaboration with the Syngenta company, a previously unknown gene in sugar beets that blocks flowering. Only with the cold of winter is the gene shut off, allowing the sugar beet to blossom in its second year. The discovery of this new gene function makes it possible to control when sugar beets bloom.

Related Articles


The new findings were recently published in the journal Science.

Scientists at Umeε Plant Science Center and the international company Syngenta, in a joint study of genetic regulation in the sugar beet, have discovered an entirely new principle for how flowering can be controlled. The study, which was co-directed by Professorn Ove Nilsson, of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), and Syngenta scientist Dr. Thomas Kraft, showed that there is a gene in the sugar beet that was previously unknown.

"When we studied a gene in the sugar beet that usually stimulates blooming in other plants, we made a very surprising discovery: in the sugar beet evolution has developed a 'sister gene' that has taken on the exact opposite function, namely, to inhibit blossoming. For biennial sugar beets this means that they can't flower in their first year. Once the plants have been exposed to the cold of winter at the end of the first year, the 'gene blockade is lifted,' and the sugar beets can bloom in their second year of life," says Ove Nilsson about the function of the newly discovered flowering gene.

The researchers speculate that the development of the inhibiting sister gene was an important factor in enabling biennial sugar beets to evolve from an annual to a biennial plant. Furthermore, plant researchers in Umeε and Landskrona have shown that it is possible to manipulate the "flowering gene" in such a way as to leave the gene constantly "turned on," that is, to block blooming, and thereby prevent it from being turned off after winter.

"In that way it's possible to fully control the flowering time of the sugar beet. This enables us to develop a so-called 'winter beet,' that is, a sugar beet that can be planted in the autumn and then will continue to grow throughout the following growth season without blossoming," says Thomas Kraft at Syngenta Seeds.

"A winter beet has be a high priority for sugar beet growers, since it is estimated to be able to increase the yield by about 25 percent and at the same time allow a more extended harvesting period. Traditional breeding has failed to produce such a plant. Syngenta Seeds is now going to move on to more in-depth tests of this potential new winter beet."

The research work in this project has been primarily conducted by an industrial doctoral candidate, Pierre Pin, with funding from the Swedish Research Council and Syngenta Seeds AB.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. A. Pin, R. Benlloch, D. Bonnet, E. Wremerth-Weich, T. Kraft, J. J. L. Gielen, O. Nilsson. An Antagonistic Pair of FT Homologs Mediates the Control of Flowering Time in Sugar Beet. Science, 2010; 330 (6009): 1397 DOI: 10.1126/science.1197004

Cite This Page:

Expertanswer. "How flowering time of plants can be controlled." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207092352.htm>.
Expertanswer. (2010, December 8). How flowering time of plants can be controlled. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207092352.htm
Expertanswer. "How flowering time of plants can be controlled." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207092352.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) — For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) — An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins