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PLoS One. 2014 Feb 14;9(2):e89145. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089145. eCollection 2014.

A GmRAV ortholog is involved in photoperiod and sucrose control of flowering time in soybean.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Soybean Biology of Chinese Education Ministry (Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetics & Breeding for Soybean in Northeast China, Ministry of Agriculture), Northeast Agriculture University, Harbin, China.
  • 2Agricultural Academy of Shi He Zi, Xinjiang Province, China.


Photoperiod and sucrose levels play a key role in the control of flowering. GmRAV reflected a diurnal rhythm with the highest expression at 4 h after the beginning of a dark period in soybean leaves, and was highly up-regulated under short-day (SD) conditions, despite of not following a diurnal pattern under long-day (LD) conditions. GmRAV-i (GmRAV-inhibition) transgenic soybean exhibited early flowering phenotype. Two of the FT Arabidopsis homologs, GmFT2a and GmFT5a, were highly expressed in the leaves of soybeans with inhibition (-i) of GmRAV under SD conditions. Moreover, the transcript levels of the two FT homologs in GmRAV-i soybeans were more sensitive to SD conditions than LD conditions compared to the WT plant. GmRAV-i soybeans and Arabidopsis rav mutants showed more sensitive hypocotyl elongation responses when compared with wild-type seedlings, and GmRAV-ox overevpressed in tobacco revealed no sensitive changes in hypocotyl length. These indicated that GmRAV was a novel negative regulator of SD-mediated flowering and hypocotyl elongation. Although sucrose has been suggested to promote flowering induction in many plant species, high concentration of sucrose (4% [w/v]) applied into media defer flowering time in Arabidopsis wild-type and rav mutant. This delayed flowering stage might be caused by reduction of LEAFY expression. Furthermore, Arabidopsis rav mutants and GmRAV-i soybean plants were less sensitive to sucrose by the inhibition assays of hypocotyls and roots growth. In contrast, transgenic GmRAV overexpressing (-ox) tobacco plants displayed more sensitivity to sucrose. In conclusion, GmRAV was inferred to have a fundamental function in photoperiod, darkness, and sucrose signaling responses to regulate plant development and flowering induction.

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