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Genetics. 1998 Jun;149(2):749-64.

Analysis of natural allelic variation at flowering time loci in the Landsberg erecta and Cape Verde Islands ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Graduate School Experimental Plant Science, Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen Agricultural University, 6703 HA Wageningen, The Netherlands.


We have analyzed the flowering behavior of two Arabidopsis ecotypes: the laboratory strain Landsberg erecta (Ler) and an ecotype from the tropical Cape Verde Islands (Cvi). They differ little in their flowering phenotypes and in their responses to photoperiod length changes and to vernalization treatment. However, segregating populations derived from crosses between them showed a much larger variation. An approach of quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in recombinant inbred lines (RILs) grown under three environments differing in day-length and/or vernalization treatment has been used to detect and locate flowering loci. Four main QTLs were identified, designated early day-length insensitive (EDI), flowering F, G, and H (FLF, FLG, and FLH, respectively), to which most of the flowering behavior differences could be attributed. To further characterize the individual loci, near isogenic lines were constructed by introgressing Cvi early alleles of EDI and FLH into the Ler genetic background. EDI-Cvi alleles produce earliness under both long- and short-day photoperiods, rendering Ler plants almost day-length neutral. In addition, RILs were selected to analyze FLF and FLG. These loci interact epistatically and RILs carrying late alleles at FLF and FLG were very responsive to vernalization and showed an increased response to photoperiod length changes. The possible role of these loci for the control of flowering is discussed in the context of the current Arabidopsis model.

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