Genetic insights into the regulatory pathways for continuous flowering in orchid

Manipulation of flowering time and frequency of blooming is key to enhancing the ornamental value of orchids. Arundina graminifolia is a unique orchid that flowers year round, although the molecular basis of this flowering pattern remains poorly understood.

The research team compared the A. graminifolia transcriptome across tissue types and floral developmental stages to elucidate important genetic regulators of flowering and hormones. Clustering analyses identified modules specific to floral transition and floral morphogenesis, providing a set of candidate regulators for the floral initiation and timing. Among candidate floral homeotic genes, the expression of two FT genes was positively correlated with flower development.

Assessment of the endogenous hormone levels and qRT-PCR analysis of 32 pathway-responsive genes supported a role for the regulatory networks in floral bud control in A. graminifolia . Moreover, WGCNA showed that flowering control can be delineated by modules of coexpressed genes; especially, MEgreen presented group of genes specific to flowering. Candidate gene selection coupled with hormonal regulators brings a robust source to understand the intricate molecular regulation of flowering in precious orchids.

Read the complete research at

Ahmad, Sagheer & Lu, Chuqiao & Gao, Jie & Ren, Rui & Wei, Yonglu & Wu, Jieqiu & Jin, Jianpeng & Zheng, Chuanyuan & Zhu, Genfa & Yang, Fengxi. (2021). Genetic insights into the regulatory pathways for continuous flowering in a unique orchid Arundina graminifolia. BMC Plant Biology. 21. 10.1186/s12870-021-03350-6. 

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