Functional characterization of GI and CO homologs from Eriobotrya deflexa Nakai forma koshunensis

  • Ling Zhang
  • Yuanyuan Jiang
  • Yunmei Zhu
  • Wenbing Su
  • Ting Long
  • Tianqi Huang
  • Jiangrong Peng
  • Hao Yu
  • Shunquan LinEmail author
  • Yongshun GaoEmail author
Original Article


Key message

The first report of the cloning and characterization of the flowering time-regulating genes GI and CO homologs from loquat.


Flowering time is critical for successful reproduction in plants. In fruit trees, it can also influence the fruit yield and quality. In the previous work, we cloned the important florigen one EdFT and two EdFDs from wild loquat (Eriobotrya deflexa Nakai forma koshunensis); however, the upstream transcription factors are still unknown. The photoperiod pathway genes GIGANTEA (GI) and CONSTANS (CO) have been reported to mainly regulate FT expression in model plants. In this work, we first cloned photoperiod pathway orthologs EdGI and EdCO from E. deflexa Nakai f. koshunensis. Phylogenetic analysis showed they are highly conserved to those from Arabidopsis. They are mainly expressed in the leaves. The EdGI and EdCO were localized in the nucleus. Their expression showed in photoperiodic regulation, while the EdCO transcripts reached the peak at different periods from that of CO in Arabidopsis. Moreover, EdCO significantly activated the EdFT promoter activity. In the transgenic Arabidopsis, downstream-flowering genes like FT and AP1 were obviously upregulated, and consequently resulted in early-flowering phenotype compared to the wild type. These data revealed that the EdGI and EdCO may play a similar role as GI and CO in Arabidopsis, and regulate flower initiation in loquat.


Loquat Photoperiod Flowering time EdGI EdCO 



This study was financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation (No. 31560091), Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (2017A030313129), The Earmarked Fund for Guangdong Modern Agro-industry Technology Research System (2018LM1128), and Ministry of Agriculture Industry Technology Special Project (201003073).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict interests.

Supplementary material

299_2019_2384_MOESM1_ESM.docx (6.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 6315 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-bioresources/Key Laboratory of Biology and Germplasm Enhancement of Horticultural Crops in South China, Ministry of Agriculture/College of HorticultureSouth China Agricultural UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences and Temasek Life Sciences LaboratoryNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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