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The Floral Repressor GmFLC-like Is Involved in Regulating Flowering Time Mediated by Low Temperature in Soybean

by Jing Lyu 1,†, Zhandong Cai 1,†, Yonghong Li 2, Haicui Suo 3, Rong Yi 1,4, Shuai Zhang 2,* and Hai Nian 1,4,*
State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-Bioresources, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
School of Applied Chemistry and Biological Technology, Postdoctoral Innovation Practice Base, Shenzhen Polytechnic, Shenzhen 518055, China
Crop Research Institute, Guangdong Academy of Agriculture, Guangzhou 510642, China
Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Breeding, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the article.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(4), 1322;
Received: 27 December 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 13 February 2020 / Published: 15 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
Soybean is an important crop that is grown worldwide. Flowering time is a critical agricultural trait determining successful reproduction and yields. For plants, light and temperature are important environmental factors that regulate flowering time. Soybean is a typical short-day (SD) plant, and many studies have elucidated the fine-scale mechanisms of how soybean responds to photoperiod. Low temperature can delay the flowering time of soybean, but little is known about the detailed mechanism of how temperature affects soybean flowering. In this study, we isolated GmFLC-like from soybean, which belongs to the FLOWERING LOCUS C clade of the MADS-box family and is intensely expressed in soybean leaves. Heterologous expression of GmFLC-like results in a delayed-flowering phenotype in Arabidopsis. Additional experiments revealed that GmFLC-like is involved in long-term low temperature-triggered late flowering by inhibiting FT gene expression. In addition, yeast one-hybrid, dual-luciferase reporter assay, and electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that the GmFLC-like protein could directly repress the expression of FT2a by physically interacting with its promoter region. Taken together, our results revealed that GmFLC-like functions as a floral repressor involved in flowering time during treatments with various low temperature durations. As the only the FLC gene in soybean, GmFLC-like was meaningfully retained in the soybean genome over the course of evolution, and this gene may play an important role in delaying flowering time and providing protective mechanisms against sporadic and extremely low temperatures. View Full-Text
Keywords: soybean; flowering time; low temperature; GmFLC-like; GmFT soybean; flowering time; low temperature; GmFLC-like; GmFT
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Lyu, J.; Cai, Z.; Li, Y.; Suo, H.; Yi, R.; Zhang, S.; Nian, H. The Floral Repressor GmFLC-like Is Involved in Regulating Flowering Time Mediated by Low Temperature in Soybean. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 1322.

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