Evolution of life cycle regimes in species of the plant family Amaranthaceae
We are working with two main crops of the plant family Amaranthaceae, sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). We collaborate with partners who work with Amaranth and Chenopodium rubrum, a wild species related to both crops. In beet and Quinoa, we have identified a regulatory module consisting of 4 major genes regulating life cycle regimes. A pair of genes (BTC1, BvBBX19) is an upstream regulator of two FT orthologs in beet and supposedly also in Quinoa. While the regulatory pathway in beet is well understood today, studies with Quinoa have started only a short time ago. Interestingly, beet is a typical representative of species adapted to northern geographical regions with cold winters and long day conditions during summer. Thus, beet needs cold temperatures to initiate flowering and it can flower only under long day conditions. In contrast, Quinoa stems from the tropical regions of South America, where there is no winter and day length varies only slightly over the year.
Therefore, we aim to find out the mechanisms which control the adaptation of species from one and the same plant family to strikingly different environments. The research project encompasses phenological studies with plants in the climate chamber, in the greenhouse and in the field. The sequences and the transcriptional activities of flowering time genes will be studied by exploiting NGS data and by RT-qPCR. The function of different alleles from flowering time genes will be studied by genetic complementation to Arabidopsis thaliana. Sequence variation of flowering time genes will be linked to phenotypical variation by QTL and association analysis.
Höft N, Dally N, Hasler M, Jung C (2018) Haplotype variation of flowering time genes of sugar beet and its wild relatives and the impact on life cycle regimes. Frontiers in Plant Science, 8 (2211). doi:10.3389/fpls.2017.02211
Jarvis DE, Ho YS, Lightfoot DJ, Schmöckel SM, Li B, Borm TJA, Ohyanagi H, Mineta K, Michell CT, Saber N, Kharbatia NM, Rupper RR, Sharp AR, Dally N, Boughton BA, Woo YH, Gao G, Schijlen EGWM, Guo X, Momin AA, Negrão S, Al-Babili S, Gehring C, Roessner U, Jung C, Murphy K, Arold ST, Gojobori T, Linden CGvd, van Loo EN, Jellen EN, Maughan PJ, Tester M (2017) The genome of Chenopodium quinoa. Nature advance online publication:1-6. doi:10.1038/nature21370
Dally, N., Xiao, K., Holtgräwe, D. & Jung, C. (2014) The B2 flowering time locus of beet encodes a zinc finger transcription factor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, 111: 10365-10370
Pin P, Zhang W, Vogt S, Dally N, Büttner B, Schulze-Buxloh G, Jelly NS, Chia TYP, Mutasa-Göttgens E, Dohm JC, Himmelbauer H, Weisshaar B, Kraus J, Gielen JJL, Lommel M, Weyens G, Wahl B, Schechert A, Nilsson O, Jung C, Kraft T, Müller AE (2012) The Role of a Pseudo-Response Regulator Gene in Lifecycle Adaptation and Domestication of Beet. Current Biology 22 (12): 1095-1101