Flowering time in banana (Musa spp.), a day neutral plant, is controlled by at least three FLOWERING LOCUS T homologues

Flowering time is regulated by FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT), its paralog TWIN SISTER OF FT (TSF), and related proteins.  Banana (Musa spp.) is an economically-important day-neutral plant with a months-long vegetative phase prior to flowering.  The banana cultivar Grand Nain has 14 FT/TSF-like genes spread among its chromosomes.  Using qRT-PCR, expression of a subset of banana FT genes was shown to peak immediately prior to or during flowering.  Most banana FT/TSF-like genes also show a varying expression over a 24-hour period.  9 FT/TSF-like genes can functionally complement the delayed flowering phenotype in the Arabidopsis ft-10 mutant.  10 FT/TSF-like genes could also induce early flowering in wild-type Col-0 plants, which shows conserved protein structure and function between banana and Arabidopsis.  This paper shows a path to manipulate flowering time in banana through its FT/TSF-like genes. (Summary by Daniel Czerny). Sci Reports 10.1038/s41598-017-06118-x (OA)