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Functional homoeologous alleles of CONSTANS contribute to seasonal crop type in rapeseed

CONSTANS (CO) is a key gene that responds to photoperiod and in Arabidopsis can promote flowering under long-day (LD) conditions. Brassica napus L. is a major oil crop and close relative of Arabidopsis, and arose via allopolyploidization from the diploids B. rapa (A genome) and B. oleracea (C genome). In this study, we confirmed that B. napus has two CO genes located on the A10 (BnaCO.A10) and C9 (BnaCO.C9) chromosomes.

Qingdong JinShuai YinGe LiTao GuoMing WanHaitao LiJuanjuan LiXianhong GeGraham J. KingZaiyun LiJing Wang & Guangsheng Zhou

Theoretical and Applied Genetics October 2021; vol. 134: 3287–3303

Key message

Two CO paralogs in Brassica napus were confirmed and shown distinct expression pattern and function in promoting flowering and allelic variation s within BnaCO.A10 were found closely associated with ecotype divergence.

Abstract

CONSTANS (CO) is a key gene that responds to photoperiod and in Arabidopsis can promote flowering under long-day (LD) conditions. Brassica napus L. is a major oil crop and close relative of Arabidopsis, and arose via allopolyploidization from the diploids B. rapa (A genome) and B. oleracea (C genome). In this study, we confirmed that B. napus has two CO genes located on the A10 (BnaCO.A10) and C9 (BnaCO.C9) chromosomes. Significant differences in level and temporal pattern of transcription, as well as in protein function, of these homoeologous may have resulted from sequence variation in the promoter as well as in the coding region. Apart from two insertions of 527 bp and 2002 bp in the promoter of BnaCO.C9 that function as transcriptional enhancers, this gene is otherwise highly conserved in both promoter and coding region. However, BnaCO.A10 was classified into two haplotypes and transgene analysis in Arabidopsis and backcross analysis in rapeseed indicated that the winter-type haplotype had a greater effect in promoting flowering than the spring type. We discuss the contribution of CO alleles to species evolution, and for eco-geographic radiation following crop domestication, alongside scope for managing this locus in future breeding.

 

See: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-021-03896-x

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