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Nitrogen as a key regulator of flowering in Fagus crenata: understanding the physiological mechanism of masting by gene expression analysis


Miyazaki, Yuko; Maruyama, Yosuke; Chiba, Yukako; Kobayashi, Masaki J; Joseph, Benesh; Shimizu, Kentaro K; Mochida, Keiichi; Hiura, Tsutom; Kon, Hirokazu; Satake, Akiko (2014). Nitrogen as a key regulator of flowering in Fagus crenata: understanding the physiological mechanism of masting by gene expression analysis. Ecology Letters, 17(10):1299-1309.

Abstract

The role of resource availability in determining the incidence of masting has been widely studied, but how floral transition and initiation are regulated by the resource level is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that floral transition is stimulated by high resource availabiltiy in Fagus crenata based on a new technique, the expression analyses of flowering genes. We isolated F. crenata or- thologues of FLOWERING LOCUS T, LEAFY and APETALA1, and confirmed their functions using transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana. We monitored the gene expression levels for 5 years and detected a cycle of on and off years, which was correlated with fluctuations of the shoot-nitrogen concentration. Nitrogen fertilisation resulted in the significantly higher expression of flowering genes than the control, where all of the fertilised trees flowered, whereas the control did not. Our findings identified nitrogen as a key regulator of mast flowering, thereby providing new empirical evidence to support the resource budget model.

The role of resource availability in determining the incidence of masting has been widely studied, but how floral transition and initiation are regulated by the resource level is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that floral transition is stimulated by high resource availabiltiy in Fagus crenata based on a new technique, the expression analyses of flowering genes. We isolated F. crenata or- thologues of FLOWERING LOCUS T, LEAFY and APETALA1, and confirmed their functions using transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana. We monitored the gene expression levels for 5 years and detected a cycle of on and off years, which was correlated with fluctuations of the shoot-nitrogen concentration. Nitrogen fertilisation resulted in the significantly higher expression of flowering genes than the control, where all of the fertilised trees flowered, whereas the control did not. Our findings identified nitrogen as a key regulator of mast flowering, thereby providing new empirical evidence to support the resource budget model.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
08 University Research Priority Programs > Global Change and Biodiversity
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:12 Aug 2014 15:56
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:00
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1461-023X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12338
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-98023

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