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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(3), 247; doi:10.3390/ijms17030247

Identification, Functional Study, and Promoter Analysis of HbMFT1, a Homolog of MFT from Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis)

College of Agronomy, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China
Key Laboratory of Rubber Biology of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rubber Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Danzhou 571737, China
College of Environment and Plant Protection, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gian-Pietro Di Sansebastiano
Received: 1 January 2016 / Revised: 2 February 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 2 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Molecular Biology)
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A homolog of MOTHER OF FT AND TFL1 (MFT) was isolated from Hevea brasiliensis and its biological function was investigated. Protein multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis revealed that HbMFT1 conserved critical amino acid residues to distinguish MFT, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and TERMINAL FLOWER1 (TFL1)-like proteins and showed a closer genetic relationship to the MFT-like group. The accumulation of HbMFT1 was generally detected in various tissues except pericarps, with the highest expression in embryos and relatively higher expression in roots and stems of seedlings, flowering inflorescences, and male and female flowers. HbMFT1 putative promoter analysis showed that tissue-specific, environmental change responsive and hormone-signaling responsive elements were generally present. HbMFT1 was strongly induced under a short-day condition at 28 °C, with the highest expression after the onset of a day. Overexpression of HbMFT1 inhibited seed germination, seedling growth, and flowering in transgenic Arabidopsis. The qRT-PCR further confirmed that APETALA1 (AP1) and FRUITFULL (FUL) were drastically down-regulated in 35S::HbMFT1 plants. A histochemical β-glucuronidase (GUS) assay showed that HbMFT1::GUS activity was mainly detected in stamens and mature seeds coinciding with its original expression and notably induced in rosette leaves and seedlings of transgenic Arabidopsis by exogenous abscisic acid (ABA) due to the presence of ABA cis-elements in HbMFT1 promoter. These results suggested that HbMFT1 was mainly involved in maintenance of seed maturation and stamen development, but negatively controlled germination, growth and development of seedlings and flowering. In addition, the HbMFT1 promoter can be utilized in controlling transgene expression in stamens and seeds of rubber tree or other plant species. View Full-Text
Keywords: Phosphatidyl ethanolamine-binding protein (PEBP) family; MFT homolog; Arabidopsis; Rubber tree; Germination; Flowering Phosphatidyl ethanolamine-binding protein (PEBP) family; MFT homolog; Arabidopsis; Rubber tree; Germination; Flowering

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Bi, Z.; Li, X.; Huang, H.; Hua, Y. Identification, Functional Study, and Promoter Analysis of HbMFT1, a Homolog of MFT from Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 247.

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