|M.Sc Student||Olga Kossover|
|Subject||FT Gene in Tomato: Induction of Flowering and Protein|
|Department||Department of Biology||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Lifschytz Eliezer|
The difference in the architecture of the shoot systems in flowering plants is attributed to modified branching patterns.
Almost all molecular research on flowering time and plant architecture was performed in the model plants Arabidopsis and rice where flowering is sensitive to photoperiod and the shoot system is monopodial.
In our laboratory, we are studying flowering and plant architecture in tomato as a representative of day-neutral sympodial plants. The mechanisms controlling flowering in tomato was investigated via analysis of mutations changing flowering time of the primary inflorescence or the number of nodal leaves per sympodial units.
Overexpression of the Tomato-FT (T-FT)(homologue of SP,CEN, TFL1, and FT) gene in tomato results in early flowering of the primary shoot with only marginal effect on growth habit per se. Overexpression of the T-FT gene in tobacco and Arabidopsis resalts in precocions flowering and determinate inflorescences.
To distinguish between the biochemical functions of the FT and SP genes we have isolated, via the yeast 2-hybrid system, proteins that interact specifically with T-FT . Five Tomato FT Interacting Proteins (TFIP) were selected for further studies: TFIP1 is a calmodulin binding protein; TFIP2 is homologous to an Arabidopsis protein with an unknown function; TFIP3 belongs to the 14-3-3 family in tomato; TFIP4 is a transcription factor encoding a member of the bZIP family a subgroup of G-Box Factors; TFIP5 belongs to a family of Zinc transporter proteins, which are responsible for transport Zinc ions from the soil to the plant.