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PLoS One. 2014 Aug 14;9(8):e105352. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105352. eCollection 2014.

Sorghum phytochrome B inhibits flowering in long days by activating expression of SbPRR37 and SbGHD7, repressors of SbEHD1, SbCN8 and SbCN12.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States of America.
Department of Horticultural Sciences and Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States of America.
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, United States of America.


Light signaling by phytochrome B in long days inhibits flowering in sorghum by increasing expression of the long day floral repressors PSEUDORESPONSE REGULATOR PROTEIN (SbPRR37, Ma1) and GRAIN NUMBER, PLANT HEIGHT AND HEADING DATE 7 (SbGHD7, Ma6). SbPRR37 and SbGHD7 RNA abundance peaks in the morning and in the evening of long days through coordinate regulation by light and output from the circadian clock. 58 M, a phytochrome B deficient (phyB-1, ma3R) genotype, flowered ∼60 days earlier than 100 M (PHYB, Ma3) in long days and ∼11 days earlier in short days. Populations derived from 58 M (Ma1, ma3R, Ma5, ma6) and R.07007 (Ma1, Ma3, ma5, Ma6) varied in flowering time due to QTL aligned to PHYB/phyB-1 (Ma3), Ma5, and GHD7/ghd7-1 (Ma6). PHYC was proposed as a candidate gene for Ma5 based on alignment and allelic variation. PHYB and Ma5 (PHYC) were epistatic to Ma1 and Ma6 and progeny recessive for either gene flowered early in long days. Light signaling mediated by PhyB was required for high expression of the floral repressors SbPRR37 and SbGHD7 during the evening of long days. In 100 M (PHYB) the floral activators SbEHD1, SbCN8 and SbCN12 were repressed in long days and de-repressed in short days. In 58 M (phyB-1) these genes were highly expressed in long and short days. Furthermore, SbCN15, the ortholog of rice Hd3a (FT), is expressed at low levels in 100 M but at high levels in 58 M (phyB-1) regardless of day length, indicating that PhyB regulation of SbCN15 expression may modify flowering time in a photoperiod-insensitive manner.

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