Integration of molecular and physiological models to explain time of anthesis in wheat
Background and Aims - A model to predict anthesis time of a wheat plant from environmental and genetic information requires integration of current concepts in physiological and molecular biology. This paper describes the structure of an integrated model and quantifies its response mechanisms. Methods - Literature was reviewed to formulate the components of the model. Detailed re-analysis of physiological observations are utilized from a previous publication by the second two authors. In this approach measurements of leaf number and leaf and primordia appearance of near isogenic lines of spring and winter wheat grown for different durations in different temperature and photoperiod conditions are used to quantify mechanisms and parameters to predict time of anthesis. Key Results - The model predicts the time of anthesis from the length of sequential phases: 1, embryo development; 2, dormant; 3, imbibed/emerging; 4, vegetative; 5, early reproductive; 6, pseudo-stem extension; and 7, ear development. Phase 4 ends with vernalization saturation (VS), Phase 5 with terminal spikelet (TS) and Phase 6 with flag leaf ligule appearance (FL). The durations of Phases 4 and 5 are linked to the expression of Vrn genes and are calculated in relation to change in Haun stage (HS) to account for the effects of temperature per se. Vrn1 must be expressed to sufficient levels for VS to occur. Vrn1 expression occurs at a base rate of 0·08/HS in winter ‘Batten’ and 0·17/HS in spring ‘Batten’ during Phases 1, 3 and 4. Low temperatures promote expression of Vrn1 and accelerate progress toward VS. Our hypothesis is that a repressor, Vrn4, must first be downregulated for this to occur. Rates of Vrn4 downregulation and Vrn1 upregulation have the same exponential response to temperature, but Vrn4 is quickly upregulated again at high temperatures, meaning short exposure to low temperature has no impact on the time of VS. VS occurs when Vrn1 reaches a relative expression of 0·76 and Vrn3 expression begins. However, Vrn2 represses Vrn3 expression so Vrn1 must be further upregulated to repress Vrn2 and enable Vrn3 expression. As a result, the target for Vrn1 to trigger VS was 0·76 in 8-h photoperiods (Pp) and increased at 0·026/HS under 16-h Pp as levels of Vrn2 increased. This provides a mechanism to model short-day vernalization. Vrn3 is expressed in Phase 5 (following VS), and apparent rates of Vrn3 expression increased from 0·15/HS at 8-h Pp to 0·33/HS at 16-h Pp. The final number of leaves is calculated as a function of the HS at which TS occurred (TSᴴˢ): 2·86 + 1·1 × TSᴴˢ. The duration of Phase 6 is then dependent on the number of leaves left to emerge and how quickly they emerge. Conclusions - The analysis integrates molecular biology and crop physiology concepts into a model framework that links different developmental genes to quantitative predictions of wheat anthesis time in different field situations.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsanthesis; model; phenology; photoperiod; temperature; short-day vernalization; vernalization; Triticum aestivum; Vrn1; Vrn2; Vrn3; Vrn4; wheat; Plant Biology & Botany; Triticum; Flowers; Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental; Gene Expression Regulation, Plant; Genes, Plant; Models, Biological; Models, Molecular
Fields of Research060703 Plant Developmental and Reproductive Biology; 060705 Plant Physiology; 0703 Crop and Pasture Production; 060702 Plant Cell and Molecular Biology; 0602 Ecology; 0607 Plant Biology; 0705 Forestry Sciences
© The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.