Indexed on: 09 Mar '11Published on: 09 Mar '11Published in: Plant & cell physiology
GIGANTEA (GI) is a key regulator of flowering time, which is closely related to the circadian clock function in Arabidopsis. Mutations in the GI gene cause photoperiod-insensitive flowering and altered circadian rhythms. We isolated the GI ortholog PnGI from Pharbitis (Ipomoea) nil, an absolute short-day (SD) plant. PnGI mRNA expression showed diurnal rhythms that peaked at dusk under SD and long-day (LD) conditions, and also showed robust circadian rhythms under continuous dark (DD) and continuous light (LL) conditions. Short irradiation with red light during the flower-inductive dark period did not change PnGI expression levels, suggesting that such a night break does not abolish flowering by affecting the expression of PnGI. In Pharbitis, although a single dusk signal is sufficient to induce expression of the ortholog of FLOWERING LOCUS T (PnFT1), PnGI mRNA expression was not reset by single lights-off signals. Constitutive expression of PnGI (PnGI-OX) in transgenic plants altered period length in leaf-movement rhythms under LL and affected circadian rhythms of PnFT mRNA expression under DD. PnGI-OX plants formed fewer flower buds than the wild type when one-shot darkness was given. In PnGI-OX plants, expression of PnFT1 was down-regulated, suggesting that PnGI functions as a suppressor of flowering, possibly in part through down-regulation of PnFT1.