Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 1488–1495 | Cite as

Identification and Characterization of PpLFL, a Homolog of FLORICAULA/LEAFY in Peach (Prunus persica)

  • Lijun An
  • Hengjiu Lei
  • Xinjie Shen
  • Tianhong Li
Original Paper


A LEAFY/FLORICAULA (LFY/FLO) homolog PpLFL (P runus p ersica L EAFY/ F LORICAULA L ike) gene was isolated from axillary buds of peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch. cv. Bayuecui) during flower induction period. The open reading frame of PpLFL spanned 1,248 bp, encoding a putative protein of 415 amino acid residues, which was with high similarity (50.48 %–84.69 %) to other FLO/LFY inferred proteins from different species. The spatial expression patterns of PpLFL were detected in axillary buds during the periods of flower induction by using immunohistolocalisation. The results showed that PpLFL gene was mainly expressed during flower induction time, and also in leaf and petal promordia at the SAM. For further functional analysis, the PpLFL was constitutively expressed in the Arabidopsis lfy mutant background, and the results showed that overexpression of PpLFL under the control of CaMV 35S promoter can accelerate flowering and give rise to normal flower organs. Our results suggest that PpLFL might play an important role in flower induction, and could act as a functional flower meristem identity gene in peach.


Flowering Fruit tree Peach Immunohistolocalisation LEAFY/FLORICAULA Meristem identity gene 



The authors would like to thank Dr Y. Jing (China Agricultural University) for the generous gifts of plasmids pGEX-4T-1 and pCAMBIA 1301. The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 31171938), the Special fund for Agro-Scientific Research in the Public Interest (grant no. 201003021).


  1. Ahearn K-P, Johnson H-A, Weigel D, Wagner D-R (2001) NFL1, a Nicotiana tabacum LEAFY-like gene, control meristem initiation and floral structure. Plant Cell Physiol 42:1130–1139PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allnutt G-V, Rogers H-J, Francis D, Herbert R-J (2007) A LEAFY-like gene in the long day plant, Silene coeli-rosa is dramatically up-regulated in evoked shoot apical meristems but does not complement the Arabidopsis lfy mutant. J Exp Bot 58:2249–2259PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. An L-J, Li T-H (2008) Cloning, expression and production of polyclonal antibodies of peach PpLFY. Acta Hort Sinica 35:1573–1580 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  4. Baid W-V, Ballard R-E, Rajapkse S, Abbott A-G (1996) Progress in Prunus mapping and application of molecular markers to germplasm improvement. Hortscience 31:1099–1106Google Scholar
  5. Blázquez M-A (2005) The right time and place for making flowers. Science 309:1024–1025PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blázquez M-A, Weigel D (2000) Integration of floral signals in Arabidopsis. Nature 404:889–892PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blázquez M-A, Soowal L-N, Lee I, Weigel D (1997) LEAFY expression and flower initiation in Arabidopsis. Development 124:3835–3844PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Bomblies K, Wang R-L, Ambrose B-A, Schmidt R-J, Meeley R-B, Doebley J (2003) Duplicate FLORICAULA/LEAFY homologues zfl1 and zfl2 control inflorescence architecture and flower patterning in maize. Development 130:2385–2395PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carmona M-J, Cubas P, Martínez-Zapater J-M (2002) VFL, the grapevine FLORICAULA/LEAFY orthologue, is expressed in meristematic region independently of their fate. Plant Physiol 130:68–77PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chang S-J, Puryear J, Cairney J (1993) A simple and efficient method for isolating RNA from pine trees. Plant Mol Biol Rep 11:13–16Google Scholar
  11. Chang L-L, Wu L-C, Chen Y-H, Ku L-X, Yang S, Zhang S-F, Wang X-T, Wei X-M (2012) Expression and functional analysis of the ZCN1 (ZmTFL1) gene, a TERMINAL FLOWER 1 homologue that regulates the vegetative to reproductive transition in maize. Plant Mol Biol Rep 30:55–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cho S, Jang S, Chae S, Min C-K, Moon Y, An G, Jang S (1999) Analysis of the C-terminal region of Arabidopsis thaliana APETALA1 as a transcription activation domain. Plant Mol Biol 40:419–429PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chujo A, Zhang Z, Kishino H, Shimamoto K, Kyozuka J (2003) Partial conservation of LFY function between rice and Arabidopsis. Plant Cell Physiol 44:1311–1319PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Clough S-J, Bent A-F (1998) Floral dip: a simplified method for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J 16:735–743PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Coen E-S, Romero J-M, Doyle S, Elliott R, Murphy G, Carpenter R (1990) FLORICUALA: a homeotic gene required for flower development in Antirrhinum majus. Cell 63:1311–1322PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Corbesier L, Coupland G (2005) Photoperiodic flowering of Arabidopsis: integrating genetic and physiological approaches to characterization of floral stimulus. Plant Cell Environ 28:54–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dornelas M-C, Neves do Amaral W-A, Rodriguez A-P-M (2004) EgLFY, the Eucalyptus grandis homolog of the Arabidopsis gene LEAFY is expressed in reproductive and vegetative tissues. Braz J Plant Physiol 16:105–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gerber H, Seipel K, Georgiev O, Horfferer M, Hug M, Rusconi S, Schaffner W (1994) Transcriptional activation modulated by homopolymeric glutamine and praline stretches. Science 263:808–811PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ginannino D-G, Cozza M-R, Bruno L, Testone G, Ticconi C, Frugis G, Bitonti M-B, Innocenti A-M, Mariotti D (2003) Isolation and characterization of a maintenance DNA-methyltransferase gene from peach (Prunus persica [L.] Batsch): transcript localization in vegetative and reproductive meristem of triple buds. J Exp Bot 54:2623–2633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hamès C, Ptchelkine D, Grimm C, Thevenon E, Moyroud E, Gérard F, Martiel J-L, Benlloch R, Parcy F, Müller C-W (2008) Structural basis for LEAFY floral switch function and similarity with helix-trun-helix proteins. EMBO J 27:2628–2637PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hemming M-N, Trevaskis B (2011) Make hay when the sun shines: the role of MADS-box genes in temperature-dependant seasonal flowering responses. Plant Sci 180:447–453PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kelly A-J, Bonnlander M-B, Meeks-Wagner R (1995) NFL, the tobacco homolog of FLORICAULA and LEAFY, is transcriptionally expressed in both vegetative and floral meristems. Plant Cell 7:225–234PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Kyozuka J, Konishi S, Nemoto K, Izawa T, Shimamoto K (1998) Down regulation of RFL, the FLO/LFY homolog of rice, accompanied with panicle branch initiation. Pro Natl Acad Sci USA 95:1979–1982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li Z-T (1993) Flower bud formation. In: Shen J (ed) Agricultural Encyclopedia of China. Agricultural Press, Beijing, pp 161–163Google Scholar
  25. Maizel A, Busch M-A, Tanahashi T, Perkovic J, Kato M, Hasebe M, Weigel D (2005) The floral regulator LEAFY evolves by substitutions in the DNA binding domain. Science 308:260–263PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mellerowicz E-J, Horgan K-A Walden A-C, Walter C (1998) PRFL1: a Pinus raiata homologue of FLORICAULA and LEAFY is expressed in both containing vegetative and undifferentiated male cone promordia. Planta 206:619–629PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mouradov A, Glassick T, Hamdorf B, Murphy L, Fowler B, Marla S, Teasdale R-D (1998) NEEDLY, a Pinus radiate ortholog of FLORICUALA/LEAFY genes, expression in both reproductive and vegetative meristem. Pro Natl Acad Sci USA 95:6537–6542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Moyroud E, Kuster E, Monniaux M, Koes R, François P (2010) LEAFY blossoms. Trends Plant Sci 15:346–352PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mutasa-Göttgens M, Hedden P (2009) Gibberellin as a factor in floral regulatory networks. J Exp Bot 60:1979–1989PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ng M, Yanofsky M-F (2000) Three ways to learn the ABCs. Curr Opin Plant Biol 3:47–52PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Peña L, Martίn-Trillo M, Juάrez J, Pina JA, Nararro L, Martίnez-Zapater J-M (2001) Constitutive expression of Arabidopsis LEAFY or APEATA1 genes in citrus reduces their generation time. Nat Biotechnol 19:263–267PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Porebski S, Bailey L-G, Baum B (1997) Modification of a CTAB DNA extraction protocol for plants containing high polysaccharide and polyphenol components. Plant Mol Biol Rep 15:8–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rottmann W-H, Meilan R, Sheppard L-A, Brunner A-M, Skinner J-S, Ma C-P, Cheng S-P, Jouanin L, Pilateand G, Strauss S-H (2000) Diverse effects of overexpression of LEAFY and PTLF, a poplar (Populus) homolog of LEAFY/FLORICAULA, in transgenic poplar and Arabidopsis. Plant J 22:235–245PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Shitsukawa N, Takagishi A, Ikari C, Takumi S, Murai K (2006) WFL, a wheat FLORICAULA/LEAFY ortholog, is associated with spikelet formation as lateral branch of the inflorescence meristem. Genes Genet Syst 81:13–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sung S-K, Yu G-H, An G (1999) Characterization of MdMADS2, a member of the SQUAMOSA subfamily of genes, in apple. Plant Physiol 120:969–978PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tan F-C, Swain S-M (2006) Genetics of flower initiation and development in annual and perennial plants. Physiol Plant 128:8–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wada M, Cao Q-F, Kotoda N, Soejima J, Masuda T (2002) Apple has two orthologues of FLORICAULA/LEAFY involved in flowering. Plant Mol Biol 49:567–577PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang Z-J, Huang J-Q, Huang Y-J, Chen F-F, Zheng B-S (2011) Cloning and Characterization of a homologue of the FLORICAULA/LEAFY gene in hickory (Carya cathayensis Sarg). Plant Mol Biol Rep (online first)Google Scholar
  39. Weigel D, Nilsson O (1995) A developmental switch sufficient for flower initiation in diverse plants. Nature 377:495–500PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Weigel D, Alvarez J, Smyth D-R, Yanosky M-F, Meyerowitz E-M (1992) LEAFY controls floral meristem identity in Arabidopsis. Cell 69:843–859PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wilkie J-D, Sedgley M, Olesen T (2008) Regulation of floral initiation in horticultural trees. J Exp Bot 59:3215–3228PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Xu J-H, Zhong X-F, Zhang Q-Z, Li H-Y (2010) Overexpression of the GmGAL2 gene accelerates flowering in Arabidopsis. Plant Mol Biol Rep 28:704–711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Yu Q-Y, Moore P-H, Albert H-H, Roader A-H-K, Ming R (2005) Cloning and characterization of a FLORICAULA/LEAFY ortholog, PFL, in polygamous papaya. Cell Res 15:576–584PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lijun An
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hengjiu Lei
    • 1
  • Xinjie Shen
    • 1
  • Tianhong Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Fruit Science, College of Agronomy and BiotechnologyChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Life ScienceNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations