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Plant Cell Physiol. 2011 Apr;52(4):638-50. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcr023. Epub 2011 Mar 7.

Constitutive expression of the GIGANTEA ortholog affects circadian rhythms and suppresses one-shot induction of flowering in Pharbitis nil, a typical short-day plant.

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  • 1Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennoudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan.


GIGANTEA (GI) is a key regulator of flowering time, which is closely related to the circadian clock function in Arabidopsis. Mutations in the GI gene cause photoperiod-insensitive flowering and altered circadian rhythms. We isolated the GI ortholog PnGI from Pharbitis (Ipomoea) nil, an absolute short-day (SD) plant. PnGI mRNA expression showed diurnal rhythms that peaked at dusk under SD and long-day (LD) conditions, and also showed robust circadian rhythms under continuous dark (DD) and continuous light (LL) conditions. Short irradiation with red light during the flower-inductive dark period did not change PnGI expression levels, suggesting that such a night break does not abolish flowering by affecting the expression of PnGI. In Pharbitis, although a single dusk signal is sufficient to induce expression of the ortholog of FLOWERING LOCUS T (PnFT1), PnGI mRNA expression was not reset by single lights-off signals. Constitutive expression of PnGI (PnGI-OX) in transgenic plants altered period length in leaf-movement rhythms under LL and affected circadian rhythms of PnFT mRNA expression under DD. PnGI-OX plants formed fewer flower buds than the wild type when one-shot darkness was given. In PnGI-OX plants, expression of PnFT1 was down-regulated, suggesting that PnGI functions as a suppressor of flowering, possibly in part through down-regulation of PnFT1.

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