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Recent advancements to study flowering time in almond and other Prunus species

AuthorsSánchez-Pérez, Raquel ; Cueto, Jorge del ; Dicenta, Federico ; Martínez-Gómez, Pedro
Issue Date11-Jul-2014
PublisherFrontiers Media
CitationFrontiers in Plant Science 5: 334 (2014)
AbstractFlowering time is an important agronomic trait in almond since it is decisive to avoid the late frosts that affect production in early flowering cultivars. Evaluation of this complex trait is a long process because of the prolonged juvenile period of trees and the influence of environmental conditions affecting gene expression year by year. Consequently, flowering time has to be studied for several years to have statistical significant results. This trait is the result of the interaction between chilling and heat requirements. Flowering time is a polygenic trait with high heritability, although a major gene Late blooming (Lb) was described in “Tardy Nonpareil.” Molecular studies at DNA level confirmed this polygenic nature identifying several genome regions (Quantitative Trait Loci, QTL) involved. Studies about regulation of gene expression are scarcer although several transcription factors have been described as responsible for flowering time. From the metabolomic point of view, the integrated analysis of the mechanisms of accumulation of cyanogenic glucosides and flowering regulation through transcription factors open new possibilities in the analysis of this complex trait in almond and in other Prunus species (apricot, cherry, peach, plum). New opportunities are arising from the integration of recent advancements including phenotypic, genetic, genomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomics studies from the beginning of dormancy until flowering.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2014.00334
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