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Genetics. 2002 May;161(1):299-306.

Naturally occurring indel variation in the Brassica nigra COL1 gene is associated with variation in flowering time.

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Department of Plant Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.


Previous QTL mapping identified a Brassica nigra homolog to Arabidopsis thaliana CO as a candidate gene affecting flowering time in B. nigra. Transformation of an A. thaliana co mutant with two different alleles of the B. nigra CO (Bni COa) homolog, one from an early-flowering B. nigra plant and one from a late one, did not show any differential effect of the two alleles on flowering time. The DNA sequence of the coding region of the two alleles was also identical, showing that nucleotide variation influencing flowering time must reside outside the coding region of Bni COa. In contrast, the nucleotide sequence of the B. nigra COL1 (Bni COL1) gene located 3.5 kb upstream of Bni COa was highly diverged between the alleles from early and late plants. One indel polymorphism in the Bni COL1 coding region, present in several natural populations of B. nigra, displayed a significant association with flowering time within a majority of these populations. These data indicate that a quantitative trait nucleotide (QTN) affecting flowering time is located within or close to the Bni COL1 gene. The intergenic sequence between Bni COL1 and Bni COa displayed a prominent peak of divergence 1 kb downstream of the Bni COL1 coding region. This region could contain regulatory elements for the downstream Bni COa gene. Our data suggest that a naturally occurring QTN for flowering time affects the function or expression of either Bni COL1 or Bni COa.

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