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Article|11 Sep 2019|OPEN
VcFT-induced mobile florigenic signals in transgenic and transgrafted blueberries
Guo-qing Song1, Aaron Walworth1, Tianyi Lin1, Qiuxia Chen1, Xiumei Han2, L. Irina Zaharia2 & Gan-Yuan Zhong3
1Plant Biotechnology Resource and Outreach Center, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2Aquatic and Crop Resource Development, National Research Council of Canada, Saskatoon SK S7N 0W9, Canada
3Grape Genetics Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Geneva, NY 14456, USA

Horticulture Research 6,
Article number: 19105 (2019)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2019.105
Views: 118

Received: 18 Apr 2019
Revised: 18 Jul 2019
Accepted: 26 Jul 2019
Published online: 11 Sep 2019

Abstract

FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) can promote early flowering in annual species, but such role has not been well demonstrated in woody species. We produced self and reciprocal grafts involving non-transgenic blueberry (NT) and transgenic blueberry (T) carrying a 35S-driven blueberry FT (VcFT-OX). We demonstrated that the transgenic VcFT-OX rootstock promoted flowering of non-transgenic blueberry scions in the NT (scion):T (rootstock) grafts. We further analyzed RNA-Seq profiles and six groups of phytohormones in both NT:T and NT:NT plants. We observed content changes of several hormone metabolites, in a descending order, in the transgenic NT:T, non-transgenic NT:T, and non-transgenic NT:NT leaves. By comparing differential expression transcripts (DETs) of these tissues in relative to their control, we found that the non-transgenic NT:T leaves had many DETs shared with the transgenic NT:T leaves, but very few with the transgenic NT:T roots. Interestingly, a number of these shared DETs belong to hormone pathway genes, concurring with the content changes of hormone metabolites in both transgenic and non-transgenic leaves of the NT:T plants. These results suggest that phytohormones induced by VcFT-OX in the transgenic leaves might serve as part of the signals that resulted in early flowering in both transgenic plants and the non-transgenic NT:T scions.