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Overexpression of Wheat TaELF3-1BL Delays Flowering in Arabidopsis

Junsheng Sun#, Haozhen Zhang#, Mingxia Zhang, Sishen Li, Yanrong An*
State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an, 271018, China
* Corresponding Author: Yanrong An. Email: 15053819853@163.com
# These authors contributed equally to this paper
(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Plant Omics in Challenging Environment)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany https://doi.org/10.32604/phyton.2022.022225

Received 28 February 2022; Accepted 21 April 2022; Published online 02 August 2022


EARLY FLOWERING 3 (ELF3), a light zeitnehmer (time-taker) gene, regulates circadian rhythm and photoperiodic flowering in Arabidopsis, rice, and barley. The three orthologs of ELF3 (TaELF3-1AL, TaELF3-1BL, and TaELF3-1DL) have been identified in wheat too, and one gene, TaELF3-1DL, has been associated with heading date. However, the basic characteristics of these three genes and the roles of the other two genes, TaELF3-1BL and, TaELF3-1AL, remain unknown. Therefore, the present study obtained the coding sequences of the three orthologs (TaELF3-1AL, TaELF3-1BL, and TaELF3-1DL) of ELF3 from bread wheat and characterized them and investigated the role of TaELF3-1BL in Arabidopsis. Protein sequence comparison revealed similarities among the three TaELF3 genes of wheat; however, they were different from the Arabidopsis ELF3. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed TaELF3 expression in all wheat tissues tested, with the highest expression in young spikes; the three genes showed rhythmic expression patterns also. Furthermore, the overexpression of the TaELF3-1BL gene in Arabidopsis delayed flowering, indicating their importance in flowering. Subsequent overexpression of TaELF3-1BL in the Arabidopsis ELF3 nonfunctional mutant (elf3 mutant) eliminated its early flowering phenotype, and slightly delayed flowering. The wild-type Arabidopsis overexpressing TaELF3-1BL demonstrated reduced expression levels of flowering-related genes, such as CONSTANS (AtCO), FLOWERING LOCUS T (AtFT), and GIGANTEA (AtGI). Thus, the study characterized the three TaELF3 genes and associated TaELF3-1BL with flowering in Arabidopsis, suggesting a role in regulating flowering in wheat too. These findings provide a basis for further research on TaELF3 functions in wheat.


TaELF3; photoperiod; flowering time; Arabidopsis; Triticum aestivum L
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