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J Exp Bot. 2013 Feb;64(4):909-20. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ers370. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

Flowering retardation by high temperature in chrysanthemums: involvement of FLOWERING LOCUS T-like 3 gene repression.

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  • 1NARO Institute of Floricultural Science, National Agricultural Research Organization, 2-1 Fujimoto, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


Flowering time of the short-day plant Chrysanthemum morifolium is largely dependent upon daylength, but it is also distinctly influenced by other environmental factors. Flowering is delayed by summer heat. Here, the underlying basis for this phenomenon was investigated. Heat-induced flowering retardation occurred similarly in C. morifolium and C. seticuspe, a wild-type diploid chrysanthemum. In both plants, this flowering retardation occurred mainly because of inhibition of capitulum development. Concurrently, expression of flowering-related genes in the shoot tip was delayed under high temperature conditions. In chrysanthemums, FLOWERING LOCUS T-like 3 (FTL3) has been identified as a floral inducer produced in the leaves after short-day stimuli and transported to the shoot tip. In C. seticuspe, heat-induced flowering retardation was accompanied by a reduction in FTL3 expression in the leaves. Two C. morifolium cultivars with flowering times that are differently affected by growth temperature were also examined. High temperature-induced FTL3 repression was observed in the leaves of both cultivars, although the degree of repression was greater in the heat-sensitive cultivar than in the heat-tolerant cultivar. When a scion of the heat-sensitive cultivar was grafted onto the stock of the heat-tolerant cultivar, flowering in the shoot tip was less sensitive to heat. Conversely, a scion of the heat-tolerant cultivar grafted onto the heat-sensitive cultivar showed increased heat sensitivity. Thus, several lines of evidence suggest that the reduction of FTL3 signalling from the leaves to the shoot tip at high temperatures is involved in flowering retardation in chrysanthemums.

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