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Genome-Wide Identification of Flowering-Time Genes in Brassica Species and Reveals a Correlation between Selective Pressure and Expression Patterns of Vernalization-Pathway Genes in Brassica napus

1
Crop Research Institute, Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Science, Chengdu 610066, China
2
College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Beibei, Chongqing 400715, China
3
Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Southwest University, Beibei, Chongqing 400715, China
4
Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Oil Crops, Ministry of Agriculture; Oil Crops Research Institute, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan 430062, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this paper as first authors.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(11), 3632; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19113632
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 11 November 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 18 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
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Abstract

Flowering time is a key agronomic trait, directly influencing crop yield and quality. Many flowering-time genes have been identified and characterized in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana; however, these genes remain uncharacterized in many agronomically important Brassica crops. In this study, we identified 1064, 510, and 524 putative orthologs of A. thaliana flowering-time genes from Brassica napus, Brassica rapa, and Brassica oleracea, respectively, and found that genes involved in the aging and ambient temperature pathways were fewer than those in other flowering pathways. Flowering-time genes were distributed mostly on chromosome C03 in B. napus and B. oleracea, and on chromosome A09 in B. rapa. Calculation of non-synonymous (Ka)/synonymous substitution (Ks) ratios suggested that flowering-time genes in vernalization pathways experienced higher selection pressure than those in other pathways. Expression analysis showed that most vernalization-pathway genes were expressed in flowering organs. Approximately 40% of these genes were highly expressed in the anther, whereas flowering-time integrator genes were expressed in a highly organ-specific manner. Evolutionary selection pressures were negatively correlated with the breadth and expression levels of vernalization-pathway genes. These findings provide an integrated framework of flowering-time genes in these three Brassica crops and provide a foundation for deciphering the relationship between gene expression patterns and their evolutionary selection pressures in Brassica napus. View Full-Text
Keywords: Brassica napus; evolutionary selection pressure; expression pattern; flowering time Brassica napus; evolutionary selection pressure; expression pattern; flowering time
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Li, H.; Fan, Y.; Yu, J.; Chai, L.; Zhang, J.; Jiang, J.; Cui, C.; Zheng, B.; Jiang, L.; Lu, K. Genome-Wide Identification of Flowering-Time Genes in Brassica Species and Reveals a Correlation between Selective Pressure and Expression Patterns of Vernalization-Pathway Genes in Brassica napus. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 3632.

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