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Plant Physiol. 1997 Feb;113(2):611-9.

The sorghum photoperiod sensitivity gene, Ma3, encodes a phytochrome B.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843-2128, USA.


The Ma3 gene is one of six genes that regulate the photoperiodic sensitivity of flowering in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench). The ma3R mutation of this gene causes a phenotype that is similar to plants that are known to lack phytochrome B, and ma3 sorghum lacks a 123-KD phytochrome that predominates in light-grown plants and that is present in non-ma3 plants. A population segregating for Ma3 and ma3 was created and used to identify two randomly amplified polymorphic DNA markers linked to Ma3. These two markers were cloned and mapped in a recombinant inbred population as restriction fragment length polymorphisms. cDNA clones of PHYA and PHYC were cloned and sequenced from a cDNA library prepared from green sorghum leaves. Using a genome-walking technique, a 7941-bp partial sequence of PHYB, was determined from genomic DNA from ma3 sorghum. PHYA, PHYB, and PHYC all mapped to the same linkage group. The Ma3-linked markers mapped with PHYB more than 121 centimorgans from PHYA and PHYC. A frameshift mutation resulting in a premature stop codon was found in the PHYB sequence from ma3 sorghum. Therefore, we conclude that the Ma3 locus in sorghum is a PHYB gene that encodes a 123-kD phytochrome.

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