Plant molecular biology 2016 1-2
A CONSTANS-like transcriptional activator, OsCOL13, functions as a negative regulator of flowering downstream of OsphyB and upstream of Ehd1 in rice.
Flowering time determines the adaptability of crop plants to different local environments, thus being one of the most important agronomic traits targeted in breeding programs. Photoperiod is one of the key factors that control flowering in plant. A number of genes that participate in the photoperiod pathway have been characterized in long-day plants such as Arabidopsis, as well as in short-day plants such as Oryza sativa. Of those, CONSTANS (CO) as a floral integrator promotes flowering in Arabidopsis under long day conditions. In rice, Heading date1 (Hd1), a homologue of CO, functions in an opposite way, which inhibits flowering under long day conditions and induces flowering under short day conditions. Here, we show that another CONSTANS-like (COL) gene, OsCOL13, negatively regulates flowering in rice under both long and short day conditions. Overexpression of OsCOL13 delays flowering regardless of day length. We also demonstrated that OsCOL13 has a constitutive and rhythmic expression pattern, and that OsCOL13 is localized to the nucleus. OsCOL13 displays transcriptional activation activity in the yeast assays and likely forms homodi>a-tid='589' href='#term-589'>'term' data-tid='588' href='#term-588'>mers in vivo. OsCOL13 suppresses the florigen genes Hd3a and RFT1 by repressing Ehd1, but has no relationship with other known Ehd1 regulators as determined by using mutants or near isogenic lines. In addition, the transcriptional level of OsCOL13 significantly decreased in the osphyb mutant, but remained unchanged in the osphya and osphyc mutants. Thus, we conclude that OsCOL13 functions as a negative regulator downstream of OsphyB and upstream of Ehd1 in the photoperiodic flowering in rice.